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Europe's cold snap delivers a mixture of chaos and fun


world news

Europe's cold snap delivers a mixture of chaos and fun

Europe’s cold snap hit Italy over the weekend bringing strong winds and snow to much of the country. The temperature in Naples dropped to a record low of minus 13 degrees Celsius.

In Vatican City, rigid temperatures turned the fountains at St. Peter’s Square to ice on Saturday (January 7).

Long icicles streamed down from the higher level of the fountain making a pretty picture for the hundreds of tourists visiting the square.

The snowy weather has caused the suspension of railway and expressway transport as well as flight delays across the country.


Czech Republic

Some 22 hardy swimmers took part in the traditional Three Wise Men winter swim in the Vltava River under Prague’s Charles Bridge on Friday (January 6).

“We’ve always had a great experience but this time the Moldau river is colder than usual and that makes it really wonderful,” said Vladimir Komarek, President of the Czech Hardy Union.

The group braved the 10 degrees Celsius water for around 20 minutes as part of Epiphany celebrations.


Bosnia and Herzegovina

The River Bosna, one of the country’s longest, froze.

Officials warned that the frozen river could disrupt water supply to the population.

Bosnia is prone to extreme cold conditions during winter, but this year’s spell has surpassed expectations with temperatures not expected to rise above minus 21 degrees Celsius.

The streets in the Bosnian capital were nearly empty as residents heeded advice not to go out if it could be avoided.

The River Miljacka froze in some parts of the city.

Elsewhere, a red alert warning was in place on Sunday for the towns of Foca and Visegrad.

The extreme conditions are expected to continue until the middle of next week.


Russia

Temperatures in Moscow dropped to almost minus 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday as Orthodox believers marked Christmas Day.

Not many people braved the outdoors for the many festive events organised across the city, with organisers saying the low turnout was mainly due to the cold.

Dozens of flights were delayed and cancelled at Moscow airports as the temperatures went down to minus 36 Celsius at night and stayed as low as minus 27 Celsius on Sunday.

Extreme temperatures didn’t stop around 500 people from participating in the annual Moscow cycling marathon.

The weather is expected to improve on Tuesday.


Germany

Black ice resulting from several days of harsh wintry weather caused disruption for the travelling public in Germany late on Saturday (January 8).

Icy-cold temperatures rendered roads in Stuhr near Bremen impassable with several car crashes reported.


Bulgaria

Bulgaria too is in the grip of a harsh winter weather front with freezing cold and heavy snowstorms causing disruption to flights.

The adverse weather has left dozens of people trapped in their vehicles and caused power outages.


Turkey

Heavy snow across Turkey on Saturday caused disruptions for the travelling public.

The country’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines announced the cancellation of more than 650 flights.

The Bosphorus, the strait that runs through Istanbul, was closed to sea traffic early on Saturday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.


Greece

Refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday struggled with plunging temperatures and snow.

At the Karatepe refugee camp for families and vulnerable groups, some 1,000 refugees live in shipping containers with heating.

It was the first time some of them had seen snow – including many children – and a good chance to play.

At the Moria refugee camp, which is overpopulated, the situation is harsher and many of the asylum-seekers have to sleep in tents that are not designed for extreme temperatures.

There are currently more than 5,500 refugees stuck in Lesbos waiting for their asylum cases to be heard.

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