A cold snap gripping Europe has killed more than 30 people in recent days, left thousands of travellers stranded in snow-covered Turkey and brought fresh misery for migrants and the homeless.
Heavy snow and frigid temperatures have gripped large parts of Europe, leading to dozens of deaths, freezing rivers, the grounding of planes and traffic accidents.
Swathes of Greece have been covered in snow, including several islands, some of which have seen more than a meter (more than three feet) of snow.
Temperatures in some parts of northern Greece have plunged to as low as -18 C (0 F). A state of emergency was declared in the municipality of Kymi on the island of Evia, Greece’s second largest island after Crete, where the snow in some areas reached two meters (6.5 feet), leading to cuts to electricity and water supplies.
The small eastern Aegean island of Oinousses reported severe problems from the heavy snowfall, with the local mayor telling Greek media the island had been without landline telephone connections for four days. On the island of Lesbos, drivers needed snow chains to drive just outside the main port town of Mytilene, while heavy snowfall also hit Chios and parts of the southern island of Crete, from where some flights to Athens were cancelled.
In Romania, Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea said inmates from two prisons would be put to work clearing snow alongside anti-riot police in the Romanian capital. The inmates working on snow removal are doing so voluntarily, Firea said.
She said the initiative would help clean up the capital’s ice-clogged streets, which are only partially cleared.
Romania’s Energy Minister Toma Petcu said neighboring Bulgaria had urgently asked for extra electricity, but the request was declined since the cold weather has stretched Romania’s power grid.
Petcu said natural gas consumption in Romania could reach an all-time high Monday due to the frigid temperatures.
Source: The Times of Earth.