Cold chaos across Europe

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Cold chaos across Europe

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The cold snap has sent a shiver across Europe, grounding all planes at Madrid for a while, and sending traffic jams snaking for kilometres on end through Spanish capital.

Road traffic around Madrid has also been hazardous, but the snow of the early hours was soon replaced by high winds and rain, and virtually the entire country was swept by bad weather.

Thousands of planes are expected through Madrid in the next few days as the Spanish-speaking world gathers for Christmas.

“It’s horrible. It’s taken me forty-four minutes to drive one kilometre,” said one commuter.

Italy’s had snow, wind and rain since the weekend. Today Venice and Milan closed schools and trains were delayed or cancelled. Milan is even calling in the army to clear snow as has been unable to cope with persistent snowfalls.

“I wanted to come back to my home for holidays, I have spent the last two days trying to do it but…nothing,” said one Italian woman.

And in Moscow you would think their snow-clearing was a well-oiled machine, but the city skidded into an unbelievable 1,700 kilometre snarl-up of cars, buses and anything on wheels.

St. Petersburg was a little better, where there were only 900 kilometres of tail-backs.