Blizzards kill 53 in Europe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:24 AM, March 02, 2018

Blizzards kill 53 in Europe

Heavy snowfall and deadly blizzards lashed Europe Thursday, forcing Geneva's busy airport to close, as the region shivered in a deep freeze that has gripped countries from the far north to Mediterranean beaches in the south.

The snowstorms, unusual for much of Europe at this time of year, left roads blocked, thousands of drivers stranded and schools shut, with weather agencies predicting the biting cold would continue in parts of the region at least through Thursday evening.

The death toll continued to mount, as another three people perished in Poland, taking the number of victims there to 21, most of them rough sleepers.

There have also been six deaths in the Czech Republic in recent days, five in Lithuania, four each in France and Slovakia, three in Spain, two each in Italy, Serbia, Romania and Slovenia, and one each in Britain and the Netherlands.

The Siberian cold front -- dubbed the "Beast from the East" in Britain, "Siberian bear" by the Dutch and the "snow cannon" by Swedes -- on Thursday forced Geneva airport to announce it was shut until further notice.

In Britain, Storm Emma, rolling in from the Atlantic, looked poised to meet the Siberian chill, causing further snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures.

A red alert was extended yesterday for southwestern England, southern Wales and Scotland .

Glasgow airport remained shut, as Gatwick in London expected "a large number of cancellations and delays to flights today".

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