Europe's frozen February may last until month's end

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Europe's frozen February may last until month's end

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Europe’s big freeze may last until the end of February. That is the chilling warning from leading meteorologists.

Italy is already mourning some 40 victims of the cold and heavy snowfall. Some villages in the north have been completely cut off.

Nearly 500 people Europe-wide have lost their lives in the worst February cold spell the continent has seen in decades.

Temperatures in some eastern countries have plummeted to nearly minus 40 degrees Celsius.

At least 135 people have died in Ukraine. Dozens have died in Russia since the start of the month.

A hurricane hit the country’s southern Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. More than 7,000 people lost power supplies as the winds wreaked havoc.

With the coldest spell in 15 years in the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s chilled canals have become a favourite spot for skaters.

It was in 1997 that a legendary 200 kilometre-long speedskating race was last able to be held along frozen waterways in a northern province. The ice needs to be at least 15 centimetres thick but many are optimistic that in this unforgettable February the event will be staged again.