Europe shivers amid icy temperatures


Europe is shivering amid icy temperatures from Poland to Turkey. Several deaths have been reported as a result of the freezing weather conditions.

Poland, Greece, Italy and Turkey were among the countries grappling with heavy snow and freezing temperatures on Saturday, while Germany braced itself for dangerous conditions in the wake of a major storm from the north.

In Poland, at least ten people have reportedly died in the past couple of days following a brutal cold snap that saw temperatures fall to minus 14 degrees Celsius in some regions. Several of those deaths were caused by hypothermia, while others resulted from carbon monoxide poisoning from malfunctioning heaters.

Polish authorities said they expected the death toll to rise as weather conditions were likely to remain unchanged for the rest of the weekend. In neighboring Ukraine, at least four people have died near the Polish border from effects of the cold, and in Belgium, one man died after his truck slid off an icy highway.

Southern Europe has also experienced bouts of uncharacteristically cold weather in recent days, with wind and snowfall closing roads and train services in central Italy and cancelling many planned events to coincide with the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day.

In Istanbul, heavy fog forced authorities to close off the Bosphorous to all naval traffic, while poor weather conditions have also grounded hundreds of flights.

Germany meanwhile was experiencing the after-effects of Storm Axel, which struck northern Germany earlier in the week and has brought minus-30-degree-Celsius weather to parts of the country, as well as other surprises.

The Deutscher Wetterdienst, which provides weather services for the public, has warned people to stay indoors, emphasizing especially the danger of black ice.