Saturday, December 19, 2009

Severe cold hits Europe; 9 dead in Ukraine

Updated on : Saturday, December 19, 2009

KIEV: Severe weather has continued to hit Europe for a second consecutive day. The cold front comes amid forecasts of more snowfall one week ahead of Christmas.

Severe weather continues to affect parts of Europe. There have been traffic disruptions in Paris, and various cities in Poland and Ukraine are forecasting even more snowfall.

Snow and slippery roads cause hazardous driving conditions, and many drivers have not switched to winter tires Temperatures dropped to minus-12 degrees Celsius in parts of southern Poland.

Some people had to abandon their cars and take public transportation, only to find themselves freezing for up to an hour at bus stops.

The Eiffel Tower is closed until further notice because of the heavy snowfall. But some tourists are enjoying the white Christmas they dreamed of.

In Poland, the cold snap caused major disruptions to traffic. Temperatures plummeted in the capital Warsaw, where heavy snow caused havoc on the roads.

Trains also ran into trouble. In the southwestern city of Wroclaw, temperatures fell to minus 12 degrees Celsius and caused trips to be delayed up to two and a half hours.

Train commuter of Wroclaw in Poland said, "No one is coping well with this. Particularly the railways, they're not coping."

In Ukraine, armored vehicles from the Emergency Control Ministry were dispatched to help motorists stuck on the roads.

The weather has also been deadly. On Thursday, nine people were killed in separate accidents triggered by the cold.

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