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europe cold weather


At least 20 people are now known to have died as the extreme cold weather continue to grip much of Europe.

According to authorities, 10 people died of cold in Poland on January 8.

The bodies of three refugees, two Iraqi and one Somali, were found near the Turkish-Bulgarian border.

Deaths have also reported in Italy, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

Meanwhile, dozens of flights have been halted. In Turkey, the Bosphorus is closed to shipping after a snowstorm. Even Greece’s islands are covered in snow.

In Serbia, all river transport is suspended on the Danube.

Image source EPA

In some regions of Russia temperatures have plunged to more than -40C (-40F).

Normally milder Greece has witnessed temperatures of -15C (5F) in the north, where an Afghan refugee died of cold last week and roads were closed.

In capital Athens, the temperature failed to rise above 0C over the weekend and many of the islands were covered in snow.

Some of the Greek islands are home to thousands of refugees and many are being moved to temporary housing and heated tents.

Italian homeless hostels are opening their doors day and night as the weather has been blamed for the deaths of seven people, five of them living out in the open.

Airports in Italian cities of Sicily, Bari and Brindisi closed over the weekend.

The Italian capital, Rome, too, saw freezing temperatures.

In Russia, Moscow experienced its coldest Orthodox Christmas in 120 years on January 7.

Dozens of flights have been canceled or delayed in Moscow.

Schools in several regions of Russia are closed on January 9, however officials say milder temperatures are expected in the coming days.

Czech capital, Prague, had its coldest night so far this winter, officials say, with three deaths reported, two of them homeless people.

With the ten deaths confirmed in Poland on January 8, officials say country’s death toll from winter weather has risen to 65 since November 1.

On January 9, Warsaw and Krakow are providing people with free public transport as the authorities try to tackle high smog levels linked to the cold weather.

More than 15,000 vehicles are stranded in the French Alps due to snow and ice, snarling the holiday traffic to and from ski resorts, French media report.

France declared an orange weather alert, its second-highest, as local authorities scrambled to put up motorists for the night.

One man died when his vehicle slid into a ravine in the Isere region.

The French government asked drivers to “exercise the utmost caution” and avoid travel if possible.

Three people died in other snow-related incidents across France earlier this week, according to Le Monde.French Alps snowfall December 2014

Snowy conditions in the French Alps are expected to persist on December 28, followed by freezing weather next week when Paris should see its first frosts in more than a year, French weather forecasters say.

Local gyms and community halls were opened up as shelters in the Savoy region on December 27.

Motorists seeking accommodation “stormed” the Chambery exhibition centre, according to a live page on the website of Le Dauphine Libere newspaper.

Strong winds caused damage elsewhere in France, shutting the port of Calais, where an anti-migrant fence was partially toppled.

Closer to Paris, the celebrated gardens of Versailles were closed to the public because of gales.

Heavy snow caused disruption to roads in Germany too, causing a 16-mile traffic jam on the A8 motorway near Stuttgart.

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