Europe's deadly cold snap maintains grip

The scene in northern Europe

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Northern Europe remains in the grip of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, with more cold weather forecast for the weekend.

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed by exposure to the cold or in weather-related accidents.

The snow continues to disrupt transport networks but many airports are resuming a more normal service.

In the Balkans, heavy flooding has forced more than 1,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Temperatures in Poland have fallen to as low as -33C (-27F) in the past few days.

Another 12 people froze to death across Poland on Thursday night, according to police, bringing the total killed there during this cold snap to 30.

Police say many of the victims were homeless people.

Around 150,000 people in the Polish city of Czestochowa were reported to be without heating on Friday.

Snow piled up in Poznan, central Poland The cold snap has hit Poland particularly hard

Officials in Slovakia said two people had died in snow-related car accidents, while neighbouring Czech Republic also reported several casualties.

Cold weather has also claimed five lives this week in the Baltic state of Lithuania and there have been at least two deaths in Germany.

Siberian air

The snow and ice has meant widespread delays and cancellations to European flights in recent days, with the closure of a number of British airports.

London's Gatwick airport reopened on Friday morning for the first time in two days, but passengers have been warned to expect delays.

While a regular service appears to be resuming in many European airports, arrivals and departure boards are still showing delays and some cancellations.

Eurostar says it expects to operate a significantly reduced service until Sunday, but that no more tickets will be available until Monday.

In other developments

WEATHER AND TRAVEL INFO

  • Denmark mobilised its army to help emergency vehicles make their way through snow in the south-east
  • Snowfalls trapped hundreds of motorists in Brittany and Normandy
  • In Belgium, 650km (403 miles) of traffic jams were reported, with Flanders hit hard

Cold air moving down from Siberia has contributed to the wintry conditions in northern Europe.

Temperatures are an average 5C-10C below average in some major cities.

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