If you’ve been outside in Prague this weekend, you’ll surely have noticed the heavy snow and bitterly cold temperatures. Other cities across Europe faced similar conditions which proved fatal for some of the most vulnerable.
Temperatures dropped across Europe this weekend with authorities announcing that at least 23 people had died in the previous two days because of the weather. Cities across Europe faced some of the coldest temperatures of the winter so far and the snow looks set to continue into the new week.
With an increasing number of homeless migrants on the streets in European capitals, authorities are scrambling to place those at risk in temporary housing. Police in Germany found a group of Syrian refugees, suffering from hyperthermia, sleeping at a bus stop in Southern Bavaria. They were placed in prefabricated housing.
Poland seems to have taken some of the worst of the weather with 10 people perishing in the subzero temperatures. Heavy snow was recorded in many parts of the country and the temperatures were never above freezing.
Russians were celebrating the Russian Orthodox Christmas this weekend and Moscow residents experienced the coldest temperatures in over a century with the air temperature measuring –27 degrees Celsius in Moscow.
“Seven people died on Friday in what was the deadliest day this winter. We recorded three other victims the previous day. This takes to 53 the number of hypothermia victims since November 1.” Bozena – Wysocka from the Polish Government said.
Italian authorities announced that the cold front was responsible for seven deaths over the weekend with five of those being homeless people. The heavy snowfall that has engulfed Italy over the weekend looks set to continue over the first part of the week. Authorities have closed some of the airports in the south of the country but they should open on Sunday evening.
Three deaths were reported in Prague after two homeless people perished in the coldest night of the year so far. A security guard also passed away from hyperthermia in the capital of the Czech Republic.
The temperatures in Moscow were recorded at -30 on Friday and Saturday night, and -24 in St Petersburg. Bulgaria and Greece also faced severe weather conditions over the weekend with the bodies of homeless migrants being found in the morning snow. An entire village in Serbia was evacuated after an unprecedented amount of snow fell on the area.
Four people were killed on Sunday morning after a truck carrying Portuguese nationals skidded off the road in an area notorious for accidents. The emergency services in Hamburg were called out more than 400 times over the weekend for ice-related incidents.
There is, however, an end in sight with temperatures predicted to rise by the middle of the week. Authorities in all major European cities remain on high alert.