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Europe battens down hatches before more storms, floods and snow

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Europe battens down hatches before more storms, floods and snow


The Spanish cargo ship smashed into pieces on the southwestern French coast symbolises Europe’s extreme weather, with more storms, floods and snow forecast in the next few days.

French authorities say 20 tonnes of fuel from the Luno’s stern have probably diluted into the sea and are not expected to pollute the beaches.

It’s hoped tests will determine whether the remaining 70 tonnes are still inside, but the conditions have made access difficult.

The 11 crew members have been questioned as part of an inquiry into how the vessel became shipwrecked.

Meanwhile preparations have been underway to batten down the hatches in anticipation of the next wave of stormy weather.

In Slovenia snow and ice has caused serious damage to infrastructure, leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity.

Following the death of a 20-year-old who was electrocuted while trying to fix a power line, Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek – on a visit to the worst hit area – said the safety of emergency workers was a priority.

More mobile generators are being delivered to the region, following help that has already arrived from Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

“We are working to stabilise things as quickly as possible. But you can’t fight nature,” the prime minister said.

Neighbouring Austria is experiencing its own problems with the sheer quantity of snow.

The army is using helicopters to remove snow from treetops after many came crashing down.

Several areas are unreachable by car.

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