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Record-setting cold weather continues to grip Europe

More than 35 people across Europe have died in accidents caused by freezing cold, icing

Record-setting cold weather continues to grip Europe

By Inci Gundag and Izzet Taskiran


Intense winter weather continues to wreak havoc on Europe as frigid temperatures, heavy snowfall and icy roads create treacherous conditions.

More than 35 people have died in Belgium, England, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Spain, France and Germany in weather-related accidents.

Schools and universities have been shut due to blizzards and icing.

Red alerts were issued in England, Scotland, Wales, Croatia and Sweden while an orange alert was declared in France, Spain and Belgium and a yellow alert in the Netherlands.

In a statement, the British Meteorological Agency said a cold wave combined with Storm Emma caused more snow and strong winds on the island.

Police in Britain announced that no one except emergency service personnel should drive until weather conditions improve as a chain of traffic accidents was occurring due to icing.

The London Underground rail network, which is used by nearly 5 million people daily, also suffered disruptions.

In a press statement, Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines said some flights were cancelled Thursday and Friday as heavy snowfall hit London, Scotland’s capital Edinburgh and Ireland’s capital Dublin.

In Belgium, it was announced that Wednesday marked the coldest day since 1901.

The country issued an orange alert as polar air from the north will cause extreme temperature drops.

A municipality in Brussels has issued arrest warrants for homeless people who do not seek protection from freezing in shelters.

In Croatia, the temperature has fallen to minus 13 degrees Celsius (8.6 degrees Fahrenheit) while the snow depth has reached 172 centimeters (5.64 feet) in the town of Delnice. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the temperature fell to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit).

In Slovenia, where the temperature has dropped to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit), it was reported that one resident froze to death Wednesday near Maribor city.

The coldest place in Europe was reportedly in the town of Kiruna, Sweden at minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, it was reported that a woman refugee froze to death in Savsjo municipality.

According to the Swedish police, the 35-year-old woman, from Burkina Faso, was living on the streets with her 8- and 9-year-old children as their asylum application had been denied. Her children were brought to the hospital as they were also freezing.

In the Netherlands, some flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport were cancelled or postponed.

In Hungary, the lowest temperature was recorded in Satorhely village at minus 24.6 degrees Celsius (minus 12.28 degrees Fahrenheit) while the Czech Meteorology Center recorded a temperature of minus 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (5 degrees to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the country.

In Spain, Storm Emma triggered an orange alert in the cities of Malaga, Granada and Seville while storm warnings were issued in 41 cities.

Cold weather conditions in France caused the cancellation of flights in the cities of Biarritz and Montpellier and caused traffic jams in the country while Austria recorded a temperature of minus 32 degrees Celsius (minus 25.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Vorarlberg state.

The Austrian Interior Ministry announced that homeless citizens should be taken to temporary shelters, or if necessary, to refugee centers.

Germany was also affected by the cold weather conditions which led to school holidays in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Italy has experienced heavy snowfall in the cities of Torino, Cuneo, Bologna, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Milan, Florence and Genoa, while transportation was also affected and power shortages were reported in the Liguria region in the country’s northwest.

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