Deadly winter storm blasts Europe with heavy snow
Berlin – Deadly winter weather blasted Europe for yet another day Tuesday, trapping hundreds of people in Alpine regions, whipping up high winds that caused flight cancellations and increasing the risks of more deadly avalanches.
At least 13 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in Europe over the last week, most of them from avalanches.
In Norway, attempts to find the bodies of four skiers were again put on hold due to poor visibility and heavy snowfall. A 29-year Swedish woman and three Finns, aged 29, 32 and 36, were presumed dead after a 990-foot wide avalanche hit a valley near the northern city of Tromsoe last week.
Romanian police on Tuesday found the frozen body of a 67-year-old man in a parking lot in the southern city of Slatina after his wife reported he hadn’t returned from work. Temperatures in Romania plunged to a low of minus 11.2.
In Austria, hundreds of residents were stuck in their homes due to blocked roads and some regions experienced power outages after snow-laden trees took down power lines.
Schools in some Austrian regions remained closed for a second day and homeowners were advised to remove snow from their roofs after several buildings collapsed.
On Monday night, 11 German hikers had to be rescued by mountaineers from a cabin near Salzburg, after having been snowed in without electricity and little food since Friday. Other people have also been killed by avalanches in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and authorities warned that continuing snowfall is increasing the risk of more avalanches.
In the northern coastal German city of Hamburg, residents were preparing for a storm flood caused by a winter gale, the German news agency dpa reported.
In the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol Airport saw nearly 25 percent of its flights cancelled Tuesday. Dutch carrier KLM canceled 159 flights to and from European destinations.
Low-lying Dutch coastal regions were being hit by strong winds and wild seas.
In Greece, schools in Athens and many surrounding areas remained closed after snow blanketed the capital. Some rural mountain roads were also closed.