Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Hundreds still trapped in sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly attack on civilians sheltering in UN base in South Sudan

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Eurostar train delay "chaos"

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton says she is pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

Europe

European chill cuts power, strands travellers

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-11

Extreme winter weather has left thousands of people without power in Germany, France and Poland, while disrupting rail, air and motorway travel in many parts of Europe. Near-freezing temperatures are forecast for the week ahead.

AFP - The Arctic freeze gripping Europe left hundreds of people stuck in vehicles in deep snow or stranded at airports with scores of flights cancelled and power cuts to thousands of homes.

The treacherous conditions cut off villages in northern Germany and on the Baltic islands, and disrupted rail traffic with Eurostar still only able to run two out of three trains under the Channel.

The weather, blamed on a low pressure system that forecasters labelled "Daisy", unleashed blizzards in north Germany that left motorways, secondary roads and railways impassable at certain points.

Hundreds found themselves stuck in their cars and lorries in snow, or in trains overnight on Saturday, authorities said.

"Daisy" dumped even more snow on Germany during Sunday, particularly in the northeast, and forecasters warned of more to come overnight and all day Monday, with heavy snow showers expected to spread southwards.

School was cancelled for Monday in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state, while snowsdrifts up to two metres (six feet) high meant many villages were "left to their own devices", police said.

All of Germany was blanketed with snow, whipped up in some places by strong winds. Leipzig in the east shivered under 29 centimetres (11 inches) of snow, Berlin had 27 centimetres and Hamburg in the northwest 12 centimetres.

Dozens of villages in rural Schleswig-Holstein state and on the Baltic Sea islands were completely cut off, while more than 1,000 car accidents have been reported across Germany in recent days, several of them fatal.

Air travel was hit as well, with nearly 100 flights cancelled Sunday at Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, after 255 flights were scrapped on Saturday, a spokesman told AFP.

The snowfall which has blanketed Britain for a week eased on Sunday, but the freezing conditions continued to cause extensive disruption to air travel.

More than 80 flights were cancelled at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday, while low-cost airline Easyjet scrapped almost 100 flights.

Eurostar said that it would continue to operate on a reduced timetable Monday, and urged passengers to postpone their trip to a later date if possible.

The army helped to deliver much-needed supplies of food to rural areas in Kent in southeast England. Snow had cut off many remote areas.

At least 26 people have died from the frigid weather, according to British media.

Health and safety concerns about access to stadiums wiped out all but two of the weekend's English Premier League football matches, and the Serpentine swimming lake in London's Hyde Park was closed for the first time in 140 years.

Temperatures were expected to edge above freezing as the week wears on, forecasters said.

The unusually harsh conditions were caused as relatively warm humid air from the Mediterranean met cold air from the north and east, meteorologist Michel Daloz from Meteo France said.

In France, fresh snow and freezing rain made for another day of disruption, with 800 people including 500 British tourists on their way to a skiing break in the French Alps forced to spend Saturday night at Lyon airport.

Around 3,000 homes in southeastern France were without power for a second day Sunday, while icy conditions caused numerous accidents on roads around Paris, prompting the closure of motorway sections and a ban on lorries.

Later in the day, however, conditions had improved enough for French road authorities to lift a "status orange" state of alert across much of the country.

In Poland, around 80,000 households were left without power after tree branches weighed down by snow fell on electricity cables, while freezing rain caused major problems on busy rail links between Warsaw and Krakow.

In the northeast of the Czech Republic, heavy snow forced traffic on the rail line into neighbouring Slovakia to be suspended for six hours, while in the southeast, power outages left thousands in the dark.

In the Balkans, heavy rain and melting snow meanwhile led to flooding in parts of Croatia and Bosnia, with an emergency declared in the central Croatian district of Lika and 100 homes evacuated.

Several European countries sent rescue teams to Albania after 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of land were flooded in the north, affecting 2,500 homes, officials said. No deaths were reported.

Date created : 2010-01-11

  • WEATHER

    Winter chill turns deadly as snow blankets much of Asia

    Read more

  • WEATHER

    Deadly winter storm slams central US

    Read more

  • WEATHER

    Winter chill wreaks havoc across Europe

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)