Daisy wreaks havoc across Europe

January 11th, 2010 - 12:34 am ICT by IANS  

Berlin, Jan 10 (DPA) Low-pressure system Daisy led to more deaths, travel chaos and power cuts Sunday, as Europe remained in the grip of severe snowfall and icy temperatures.
Over the weekend, at least 20 people died in Europe, as the snowfall continued in Germany and the rest of the continent.

Meteorologists predicted that Daisy would move south Monday, heading towards the Mediterranean. In Germany, the snowstorms are expected to give way to a cold snap, turning the snow to firmer ice.

Most fatalities occurred on Europe’s roads.

In the Netherlands, three men, aged 17-22, died when their car skidded on ice and hit a tree, it was reported Sunday.

The Czech Republic reported a total of three deaths caused by cars skidding in the icy and snowy conditions over the weekend, as well as a man who had a heart attack clearing snow.

There were two fatal road accidents in Germany, and four drivers were reported killed in traffic accidents in Belgium.

Over the weekend, more than 900 road accidents, and 100 injured people, were counted in the south-western German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg alone.

In total more than 100 people have died across Europe since the start of the cold snap before Christmas.

Travel chaos continued to affect roads, airports and train services across the continent.

In northern Germany, around 200 people were stuck overnight in their cars on the A20 motorway, buried in snowdrifts reaching up to the windows of some vehicles, after lorries had skidded and blocked the road.

Heavy snowfall continued to disrupt train services across Germany, Deutsche Bahn said. The north of the country was worst hit, and several routes were closed. In total, 44 people had to be rescued from carriages stuck in snow.

In the Netherlands 100,000 people were left for several hours without electricity around the cities of Haarlem and Leiden.

In southern Poland, more than 80,000 people were cut off after the snow damaged electricity cables and pylons, the Polish press agency PAP reported.

In Britain, the “Big Freeze” continued to test people’s patience in a country ill-equipped to deal with the exceptional amounts of snow and ice covering roads, train tracks and airport runways.

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