Artic blast claims several lives and paralyses European transport networks

Artic blast claims several lives and paralyses European transport networks
Hikers stand on a bridge above a frozen waterfall in a park in Kassel, Germany today. Picture: AP

An extreme cold snap sweeping across Europe has claimed more lives, forced the closure of airports in Switzerland and France and left hundreds of drivers stranded on snow-bound roads.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the cold weather poses particular risks to vulnerable people such as the elderly, children and those with chronic diseases or disabilities.

Swedish media reported that a woman who had left her home at an asylum centre with her daughter and son, aged eight and nine, has been pronounced dead after being found in a forest.

The Aftonbladet daily newspaper reported that the woman's daughter is in intensive care, while the boy was found safe and sound in Savsjo, where temperatures fell to minus 10C.

Danish police said an 84-year-old woman with dementia became the second person to die in the country because of the cold weather. She was found on Thursday in a park in Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, after leaving her house on Wednesday night.

Travel was badly affected across the continent. Geneva's airport closed after the Swiss city was hit with about 5in of snow over a three-hour period. It reopened several hours later after extensive de-icing of the runway, planes and facilities.

Airports in the southern French cities of Montpellier and the Atlantic beach resort of Biarritz were also affected.

In southern France, about 2,000 cars were blocked on major roads in the Herault region, where snow - and snowploughs - are extremely rare.

In Sweden, the transport administration said people should think twice before taking their cars out in areas affected by heavy snowfall.

Macedonia's government, meanwhile, urged employers to exempt pregnant women and people over 60 from working for a day and to pay special attention to keeping construction workers warm due to the freezing conditions. The temperature in Macedonia dropped to minus 18C near the border with Bulgaria.

More on this topic

Latest: Importation of fodder supplies could begin as soon as tomorrow, says Michael CreedLatest: Importation of fodder supplies could begin as soon as tomorrow, says Michael Creed

Family of Cork man paralysed in Storm Emma accident hope he will regain use of armsFamily of Cork man paralysed in Storm Emma accident hope he will regain use of arms

Storm Emma drink sales help lift grocery by €9.6mStorm Emma drink sales help lift grocery by €9.6m

Over €50,000 raised for 'determined' Cork teenager injured during Storm EmmaOver €50,000 raised for 'determined' Cork teenager injured during Storm Emma

More in this Section

Corbyn demands immediate publication of UK Government’s no-deal dossierCorbyn demands immediate publication of UK Government’s no-deal dossier

Pentagon conducts first test of previously banned missilePentagon conducts first test of previously banned missile

Twitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protestsTwitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests

US lawmakers 'could block trade deal' if Good Friday Agreement is underminedUS lawmakers 'could block trade deal' if Good Friday Agreement is undermined


Lifestyle

From Turkey to Vietnam, here’s where the chef and food writer has fallen in love with on her travellers.Sabrina Ghayour’s top 5 cities for foodies to visit

Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health (University College Cork graduate)Working Life: Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health

Like most Irish kids of our generation, chillies, spicy food, heat were never really big aspects of our formative eating experiences.Currabinny Cooks: Getting spicy in the kitchen

New Yorker Jessica Bonenfant Coogan has noticed a curious discrepancy between east and west when it comes to Cork county; arts infrastructure has tended to be better resourced in the west of Ireland’s largest county.Making an artistic mark in East Cork

More From The Irish Examiner