Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Global warming hits Europe...
Heavy Snow Causes Severe Disruption in Europe
Heavy snow and subzero temperatures swept across Europe, killing at least eight homeless people in Poland, closing major airports in Britain and Switzerland and causing hundreds of highway accidents.
Gatwick, London's second largest airport, and Geneva, a major hub for low-cost carrier Easyjet, were forced to shut down Wednesday as staff struggled to clear runways of snow, along with Edinburgh airport in Scotland and Lyon-Bron in southeastern France.
Eurocontrol, the central air control agency, reported severe flight delays in northern Spain, southern Germany and Austria.
In Poland, police said eight men died Tuesday night after a bitter cold front roared in, with temperatures falling to around -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit). Police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said the men, from different parts of the country, had been drinking. The eastern Polish city of Bialystok hit -26 Celsius (-15 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday night.
Winter weather caused some 2,000 accidents on German roads Tuesday, officials said.
Police in northern Austria said a 69-year-old retiree froze to death overnight when he slipped on a snow-covered bridge on his way home from a funeral and lost consciousness.
Officials at Gatwick, south of London, said the airport would remain closed until early Thursday, stranding about 600 flights that were expected to leave Wednesday. Extra staff were working "around the clock" to clear the runways, and passengers were advised to check with their airline or Gatwick's website for updates.