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Several Records Broken as Cold Spell Grips Europe

The death toll in Europe due to the extremely cold weather has exceeded 100 people. People died due to record low temperatures in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. Temperatures fell to below 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of Europe, causing power supply disruptions, traffic chaos and the closing of schools.

Heavy snow has caused disruption across Europe, carpeting much of Italy to the south and Turkey to the east. The freeze that has swept south through the continent has caused at least 80 deaths, mainly in Ukraine and Poland. Temperatures were so low that some areas in Romania along the shores of the Black Sea froze.

In central Italy, heavy goods lorries were barred from motorways and several top-flight football matches have fallen victim to the wintry conditions. London is set to see it’s first significant snowfall as the bitter cold snap continues to grip the country.

Ukrainian officials reported that the number of deaths attributed to the freeze had risen to 43, with 13 people falling victim to hypothermia in the past 24 hours. Schools and colleges in the capital, Kiev, were shut on Wednesday because of the severe cold.

School closures were also reported in northern Greece, where temperatures of -16C (3F) were recorded. Several towns and cities in Bulgaria saw record lows, with -29C reported in Kneja in the north for the second day running. For much of the country an “orange” alert was in place, warning of dangerously low temperatures.

In Bosnia and Serbia helicopters were used to airlift supplies to villages cut off by drifting snow. Seven more deaths were reported in Poland, bringing to more than 20 the number who have fallen victim to the cold snap. Five were said to have been homeless people. In Bosnia and Serbia helicopters were used to airlift supplies to villages cut off by drifting snow.

Seven more deaths were reported in Poland, bringing to more than 20 the number who have fallen victim to the cold snap. Five were said to have been homeless people.

German media reported that ice and sub-zero temperatures had led to the deaths of two women: a pedestrian froze after falling into a drainage ditch and a driver was killed when she lost control of her car on an icy road.

In Turkey, three crew-members from a ship that sank during a storm in the Black Sea were pulled out alive by coastguard near the north-western port of Eregli but eight others were missing. The bulk carrier Vera, with a crew of 10 Ukrainians and a Georgian, had been carrying a cargo of scrap metal from Rostov in Russia to Izmir in western Turkey.

Snowfalls were recorded as far south as southern Italy and Corsica, where at least 20cm of snow covered the centre of the Mediterranean island.

…(BBC)

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February 2, 2012 - Posted by | Climate, Weather | , , , ,

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