Breaking News
Nagaland Post Logo
You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Show story
Heavy snowfall hits Europe
London, Jan 6 (Agencies):
Published on 6 Jan. 2010 10:53 PM IST
Print  Text Size

The U.K. and France were bracing themselves for a front of severe weather as heavy snowfall and ice caused widespread disruption to air, rail and road networks. On Tuesday, hundreds of British schools were shut, airports were closed and rail services delayed as the U.K.'s Met Office issued an "extreme weather" alert and Europe continued to struggle with one of the coldest winters for decades. In France, the west of the country was placed on high alert in preparation for heavy snowfalls on Tuesday evening. France's meteorological office, Météo-France, warned that that subzero temperatures in the Normandy and Brittany regions could result in travel chaos and affect businesses. Residents in Brittany were also warned that the cold snap could put local power generators under strain and asked to reduce their electricity consumption on Tuesday evening. In some parts of western France drivers have been advised by Météo-France to cancel their journeys unless absolutely necessary. This winter has been the coldest for years, driving a surge in demand for heating fuel. U.K. authorities on Monday urged power suppliers to switch temporarily from gas to other fuels such as coal. The measure, known as a gas balancing alert, has only been used once before, in March 2006. Critics have argued that the alert has highlighted Britain's failure to invest in storage facilities to compensate for declining output from the U.K.'s own North Sea natural-gas fields, once capable of meeting Britain's entire gas needs. At hot springs in Bad Krozingen, Germany, visitors enjoyed a warm bath in an outdoor pool amid icy termperatures. According to National Grid PLC demand for gas was 30% higher than the seasonal average. The U.K.'s gas system remained under pressure Tuesday with demand running near an all-time high of 446.9 million cubic meters. Up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow was forecast in some parts of the country as the bad weather moved south from Scotland. Schools were closed across Scotland and northern England, and train services between London and the north were disrupted. With heavy snowfall forecast across southern areas of England, some areas may see falls of up to 16 inches, employers braced themselves for a spate of absenteeism Wednesday. In Manchester in northwest England, a driver was killed when two trucks collided on a highway and scores of accidents were reported on icy roads. Automobile-support service RAC said it was dealing with 1,400 incidents an hour. All flights to and from Manchester Airport were canceled for several hours after snow closed the runway, and delays and cancelations hit airports including Liverpool's John Lennon airport, Leeds/Bradford in northern England and London's Luton and Gatwick. Sports and entertainment also felt the impact. Police in northwest England said Tuesday's soccer game between Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa had to be postponed because of severe snow. While the Ewood Park and City of Manchester Stadium pitches were deemed playable, accessing the stadiums would have been dangerous due to the heavy snowfall and ice covering surrounding roads. "We have had the kind of harsh weather unseen in this part of the world for years and years," said Garry Cook, the CEO of Manchester City. "We pursued every avenue possible in search of a solution and whilst the pitch is still playable, what was paramount in our thinking was the safety of fans traveling to and from the game especially in light of the subzero temperature forecast for Wednesday." Filming at the Manchester studios of Coronation Street -- a popular television soap about a working-class community in northwest England -- was suspended after cast and crew members were kept away by the snow. The U.K.'s Met Office said snow would reach as far south as London, with unusually cold weather expected to continue for the next two weeks. The office said Britain was experiencing its longest cold snap since 1981.

Comments:(0) Login or Register to post your Comment
(Available for registered users only)
More News
  • 1
  • 2