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Big freeze hits eastern Europe

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Big freeze hits eastern Europe

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It is eastern Europe’s turn to feel the icy blast of winter. Drifting snow and high winds have made driving in Romania treacherous. Five people have died since Friday, with temperatures plunging as low as minus 25, and even sea traffic is affected, with Romania’s Black Sea ports closed.

It is a similar story in central and eastern Poland, where temperatures hit minus 28, and lower figures are expected in the days to come. Some 20,000 people in villages in the south are without power after ice brought down electricity poles.

Bulgaria is also badly hit, with the east of the country paralysed, with cars and even trains stuck in deep snow.

The snow has been deadly in Turkey too, where very high winds have raised the chill factor. Istanbul transport has been severely disrupted, along with gas and water supplies, although for some the snow is a welcome diversion. Heavy snowfalls are forecast to last until Monday night.