A large swathe of Europe is still under a blanket of snow as the cold snap continues. Airports in two of the continent’s favourite tourist cities, Florence and Prague, had to be closed temporarily yesterday. Florence had not seen snow for 20 years. Italy’s Liguria coast, near the French Riviera, has also been hit.
Germany has avoided the feared traffic chaos despite heavy snowfall, particularly in the Schleswig-Holstein region.
A woman was killed near Hanover yesterday when her minivan skidded on ice and hit a truck. Seven others were injured.
Britain has experienced its coldest December in nine years. Temperatures fell to minus 11 degrees Celcius in Scotland on Wednesday night, but the weekend should be milder. The cold conditions have already claimed two lives in France: a homeless man found dead in a car, and an unemployed woman sleeping in a wood cabin.
There are severe weather warnings for much of western France until tomorrow morning. The snow is as deep as two metres in parts of Denmark where, on the motorway near the northern city of Aalborg, a lorry carrying 800 piglets skidded into a ditch.
Between 150 and 200 of the animals were killed and the road had to be closed.