More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe

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Philip Whiteside, News Reporter

Several people have died and transport has been widely affected across Europe as the weather system that is hitting the UK crosses the continent.

Here’s what’s happening from the Atlantic through to the Urals:

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Orbey, France

FRANCE

Temperatures are forecast to drop to -10C (14F), prompting fears for people living on the streets.

A homeless man was found dead in the southern city of Valence on Sunday, and another died of the cold in his cabin in the suburbs of Paris on Friday.

Nice
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No one was sunbathing on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice

In Calais, more than a year after the French government razed the sprawling Jungle camp, about 200 migrants were spared the cold on Saturday night as authorities opened up extra emergency shelters for the homeless.

In Nice, the celebrated summer playground of the rich and famous, people struggled to see as a blizzard blocked the view at the Promenade des Anglais.

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Geneva in Switzerland

BELGIUM

In the capital Brussels, homeless people have been told they will be arrested if they refuse shelter, to protect them from sub-zero temperatures.

Brussels could dip as low as -10C (14F), with strong winds making it feel much colder.

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The Elbe river has partly frozen over in the Germany city of Dresden

The mayor of Etterbeek, a Brussels suburb, said he had told police to take all homeless people to shelters even if they were unwilling to go.

Brussels’ mayor said he had given a similar order.

GERMANY

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A windmill in Stove, northeastern Germany

Some parts have reported record lows for this winter, with temperatures falling to -30C (-22F) on the Zugspitze mountain in the Alps and -22C (-7.6F) in some Alpine valleys in the southern state of Bavaria on Monday.

Germany’s national weather service also said overnight temperatures were low in the south and east of the country, where they went down to -15C (-5F) in parts.

Snow is seen in front of Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe skynews hamburg weather 4242502
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Snow is seen in front of Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany

Traffic came to a halt in some regions due to heavy snowfalls, with numerous cars crashing on icy streets and at least four people being injured in accidents.

Temperatures in Berlin are forecast to drop as low as -20C (-4F).

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Skaters play ice hockey on the frozen canal at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

With at least 3,000 people living on the streets, there are fears of overcrowding in emergency shelters.

The federal authorities cancelled a military display planned for the arrival of Ghana’s president.

ITALY

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Rome’s Trevi Fountain is yet to freeze over – but it may not be long

Rome’s first snow storm since 2012 disrupted transport on Monday, closing schools and forcing Italian authorities to call in the army to help clear the streets.

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Runners braved the cold at the Colosseum in Rome

But many had a chance to enjoy the unusual weather.

In St Peter’s Square, next to the Vatican, priests threw snowballs at each other. Near the Colosseum, students skied down the Oppian Hill.

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In St Peter’s Square, there was enough of a covering for snowmen

The Piazza Navona, with its famed Bernini fountains, and the Trevi Fountain, the star of numerous films, turned into snow-dusted winter wonderlands.

In much of northern and central Italy, storms also closed schools and disrupted transport and events, including in Turin, where a football match between Juventus and Atalanta had to be postponed on Sunday.

A priest throws a snowball as snow falls in St Peter's Square, Rome More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe skynews rome weather 4241659
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A priest throws a snowball in St Peter’s Square, Rome

As the chill moved further south, Naples saw the most snow it had experienced since 1956.

It blanketed beaches, covered fishing boats in small city ports and left Mount Vesuvius capped in white.

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A view over the normally red roofs to the Altare della Patria, often called the wedding cake

AUSTRIA

Temperatures were predicted to drop below -20C (-4F) on Monday night and feel 10 degrees Celsius colder, after already falling to -30C on Sunday night.

The mercury has fallen so low, the Danube river has frozen over and there were warnings that the diesel in people’s tanks could freeze.

SPAIN

The national weather agency has warned of “significant snowfall” across the Iberian Peninsula and in the Balearic Islands, where forecasters said it would fall to 3C (37F).

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A snow storm on the island Schiermonnikoog, Netherlands

An orange alert was issued for the Basque country, with snow expected even at sea level.

NETHERLANDS

Although temperatures have not yet fallen as low as in neighbouring Germany, ice skaters have been taking to the country’s waterways, keen to emulate the actions of their medal-winning Olympians.

Authorities initially discouraged skating on frozen lakes, rivers and canals, but have not banned boats in cities like Amsterdam to promote the development of ice so people can glide around on their skates.

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The Dutch royal family posed for photos in Lech am Arlberg, Austria

The Dutch royal family, meanwhile, were pictured on their annual ski holiday in the Austrian alps.

RUSSIA

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People have been able to walk across the ice-covered Gulf of Finland in St Petersburg, Russia

The temperature in Moscow dropped to nearly -20C (-4F) on Sunday night, the coldest night of the winter so far, but was expected to go down to -24C (-11F) in the next few days.

But that is not as low as in Siberia where it is likely to be -30C (-22F).

In the Uzhursky district of Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia, a four-year-old boy died after sleepwalking out of his house into -20C temperatures.

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A frozen waterfall in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia

LITHUANIA

This winter’s record low temperatures claimed the lives of at least three people in the capital Vilnius over the weekend.

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Swimmers braved -12C for a swimming contest in Trakai, Lithuania

Seven people were also said to have suffered substantial frostbite to their hands and feet in the past few days.

Meteorologists said temperatures went as low as -24C (-11F) in the central Lithuanian town of Ukmerge on both Sunday and Monday.

LATVIA

Eight people were taken to hospital with hypothermia and frostbite, authorities said.

Despite temperatures predicted to hover between -11C (12F) and -17C (1F) in the capital Riga, local media say children have been told they must go to school unless it goes below -20C (-4F) for under-13s and -25C (-13F) for over-13s.

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Snow at a dinosaur park in Serbian capital Belgrade

ESTONIA

Temperatures of -29C (-20F) are forecast in some areas.

Ships have been stranded because the entire Gulf of Finland, from Tallinn to Helsinki, is covered with between 5cm-20cm of ice.

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Snow-covered sailing ships moored in Kirchdorf, northeastern Germany

Port authorities have used a veteran 55-year-old ice breaker just to keep vessels moving, according to Estonian newspaper Ohtuleht.ee.

ROMANIA

Two people have been found dead as snow closed roads, forced train services to be cancelled and halted flights.

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A passenger train in Bucharest, Romania

An 83-year-old woman was found collapsed in snow in Adancata and died on the way to hospital and a 65-year-old man was found dead in eastern Suceava.

POLAND

Five people died of the cold on Monday night, bringing the number who have died from the effects of the weather since November to 58.

Tramways cross a bridge over the partially frozen Vistula river in Warsaw, Poland More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe skynews warsaw weather 4242503
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Tramways cross a bridge over the partially frozen Vistula river in Warsaw, Poland

With temperatures falling to between -12C (-10F) and -22C (-7.6F), Fakt newspaper warned people to be wary of poor air quality as people burn anything and everything to keep warm – including polished and painted wood, plastic and rubbish.

Authorities responded by placing coal heaters on the streets to keep people warm.

BULGARIA

Bulgaria’s football union has postponed all midweek domestic championship matches because snow has rendered games unplayable.

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The trams are still moving despite heavy snowfalls in Sofia, Bulgaria

Snow brought chaos across the country, with villages left without electricity, roads blocked and schools closed by snow as deep as 16ins (40cm).

CROATIA

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Croatian capital Zagreb is blanketed in snow

Towns along most of the Adriatic coast have been waking up to temperatures below freezing.

Schools have closed, heavy vehicles banned from all roads leading towards the coast, and about 1,000 soldiers have joined efforts to clear the snow in the worst-affected areas – where up to 6ft (180cm) has fallen and temperatures of -20C (-4F) have been recorded.

A man walks under the falling snow in Delnice, Croatia More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe More deaths as Siberian chill grips Europe skynews croatia weather 4242500
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A man walks under the falling snow in Delnice, Croatia

BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA

The roofs of dozens of houses collapsed under the weight of snow in the Unsko-Sanski region of the country’s North West.

GREECE

Half of mainland Greece is blanketed in snow, according to KeeptalkingGreece.com.

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Villages outside Thessaloniki in Greece have seen a metre of snow

While it was raining in Athens, in and around Thessaloniki, some parts of the north had up to 3.5ft (100cm) of snow, with several villages snowed in.

SWEDEN

The Prime Minister’s car skidded off the road in a snow storm and smashed into a railing north of Stockholm.

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A pileup near Sjobo, Sweden

Stefan Lofven, who was on his way to the town of Uppsala to give a speech at a local hospital at the time, was uninjured but he needed to continue his journey in a different vehicle.

It was one of a number of accidents reported due to the weather.



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