Heavy snow blankets Poland and Russia in 'white Easter'

Wintry scene in village near Warsaw, 1 Apr 13
Image caption Village near Warsaw: Poles are battling with a wintry April freeze

Emergency services in Poland are trying to clear icy roads and restore power to thousands of homes after heavy snow over Easter.

Polish national radio says more than 100,000 homes had no electricity on Monday, after trees collapsed on some power lines. Poland's central and eastern provinces were worst hit.

There were hundreds of domestic fires at the weekend, many caused by faulty heaters. Five people died in blazes.

Moscow also has unusually heavy snow.

Russia's state weather centre says the blanket of snow in Moscow reached 65cm (25in) on Monday - that is 9cm more than previous records for 1 April, dating back to 1895 and 1942.

Polish TV said about 30cm of snow fell across Poland on Sunday, making many roads impassable and delaying dozens of flights.

Residents of Katowice and Bialystok told the Associated Press that they had never witnessed such weather before at Easter.

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