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2 Dec, 2023 20:36

German city paralyzed by heavy snowfall (VIDEOS)

Local media claim it to be the largest snowfall in Munich since records were first collected in 1933
German city paralyzed by heavy snowfall (VIDEOS)

Extreme snowfall and sub-zero temperatures led to chaos in the Bavarian state capital of Munich on Saturday as a winter storm paralyzed air and rail travel, led to road traffic accidents, and forced the cancellation of a Bundesliga football match. 

With much of Germany in the grips of icy temperatures for the past several days, Saturday’s snowfall in Munich was the most intense yet. More than 16 inches (40cm) of snow fell between Friday night and early on Saturday, weather services said, blanketing the Munich metropolitan area, home to around 6 million people. 

The hazardous conditions led to the grounding of at least 760 flights due to depart from Munich airport, a spokesperson told CNN. After initially suspending air traffic until Saturday afternoon, Munich’s airport later confirmed its closure until 6am on Sunday. 

Among the flights canceled were those due to arrive in Dubai, where the COP28 climate change summit is being held. 

Buses, trams, and many rail services were also suspended because of poor conditions, Munich’s public transport company said. Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national railway service, said that rail travel would be “impacted severely” until Monday. The weather, which saw temperatures plummet well below zero degrees Celsius, also affected travel in some parts of Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. 

Large numbers of people were stranded at Munich’s main train station, regional publication Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. “I’ve been sitting here in this place since one o’clock in the morning,” a passenger told the publication. “We just want to know if there’s still a chance of getting out of here.” 

Residents in Munich were warned not to attempt to travel in cars unless absolutely necessary, the city’s police said in a statement. Some residents in southern Bavaria were warned by authorities not to leave their homes, CNN reported. 

Lower Bavarian police said they made at least 350 interventions to assist people affected by the conditions on Friday night, according to The Guardian. Five people were injured in road traffic accidents, the report added. 

A football match scheduled for Saturday between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin was postponed, with the Bavarian club citing “safety risks” in a statement. 

Bavarian broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk said that the snowfall recorded in Munich from Friday into Saturday was the most ever recorded in the state capital since records were first collected in 1933.