News / Europe

Europe Continues to Suffer Severe Winter Weather

A woman looks through an icy window in a bus in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, February 3, 2012.
A woman looks through an icy window in a bus in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, February 3, 2012.

Severe winter weather continues to dominate in many European countries with air and road travel disrupted and gas supples running low.

The hardest hit country is Ukraine, where temperatures as low as minus 32 degrees Celsius have left at least 122 people dead.  Oleksandr Heits, head of a rescue unit in Kiev, said many of the victims are homeless citizens of Ukraine's capital. "There are many homeless people coming here. It is minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius outside. We're heating them up with tea. Some of them are staying for a night here. We're heating, feeding them and then they leave. Some citizens are bringing clothes and food for the homeless," he said.

Snow and extremely low temperatures have also gripped the Balkans, where many people are trapped in their homes or vehicles and six have been reported dead.  The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared a state of emergency Saturday.   In parts of coastal Croatia, where snow is very rare, army units were deployed to rescue trapped citizens.  

Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom says that it has been unable to satisfy gas shortages in at least eight European nations, ranging from Italy to Poland.

Further south, Rome, the Italian capital, is suffering from the heaviest snow fall in decades.  Authorities have been forced to close several tourist sites, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

Hundreds of people were rescued Saturday from a ferry that got stuck off Italy's Civitavecchia port, a frightening experience as described by some passengers.  

"We were transferred from the ship to another, in the cold of the night, we were freezing, they made us get off the ship in conditions of a clear emergency, over planks, with the sea on our left, with the snow and the ice, without life jackets because there weren't any, not even in the cabins, among other things. I'm speechless," said one passenger.

Authorities at London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's busiest, have announced a 30 percent decrease in flights as that city braces for as much as 15 centimeters of snow predicted to fall later on Saturday.

Electricity was cut off in many snow bound places across Europe.

The Siberian cold front that has much of Europe in its grip is expected to ease next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid