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Deaths, torn-off roofs, uprooted trees as blizzards and rainstorms sweep Europe

Deaths, torn-off roofs, uprooted trees as blizzards and rainstorms sweep Europe
Extreme weather has swept across western Europe from the UK to Spain over the weekend. Blizzards and rainstorms claimed several lives, disrupted air traffic and caused road incidents and power outages.

In France, three soldiers who were to be deployed to Mali died after their military car crashed on a slippery road in a mountainous area of the southern Massif Central region.Several other fatal car crashes in the country were also reported. A Spanish couple died in an incident involving a truck and 10 cars in the same region. A driver also died in the central city of Tours when his car skidded on an icy motorway and crashed into an emergency vehicle.

In Portugal, where authorities issued the highest-level weather alert in some districts, an elderly man was killed when stormy winds hurled him through a door, causing fatal head injuries.Two men, one in his 40s and the other his 60s, died in Spain when powerful winds caused a wall to collapse on them.

An avalanche killed four climbers in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday as they ascended Bidean Nam Bian mountain, near Glencoe. Another climber was seriously injured in the incident, and six others survived.Later that same day, a man died when a car and a bus collided in Windmill Hill in Coventry in the UK’s West Midlands. A 26-year-old woman died when her car skidded off an icy road in Headington, Oxfordshire.

The cold snap forced London’s Heathrow Airport to delay at least 350 flights leaving hundreds passengers to camp on the floor. Two trains to Belgium and another two to France were also canceled. The UK is bracing for the coldest temperatures in at least two years. The snow is expected to continue over the next week, with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning.Throughout Europe, airports and railroads were forced to change schedules to minimize disruptions due to the extreme weather. At France’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, about 40 percent of short- and medium-haul flights were affected. In total 650 flights have been canceled at both air hubs.

Wind speeds in some regions of southern Europe reached well over 100 kilometers per hour. In Spain, it was so strong that it pulled trees out of ground or snapped them in two, crashed down lampposts and ripped roofs off of houses.In the northwestern Spanish coastal city of Coruna, waves crested as high as 10 meters. Rivers also flooded in several areas.

The cold snap forced London’s Heathrow Airport to cancel flights to and from the British capital, leaving thousands of passengers to camp out on the floor. The UK is bracing for the coldest temperatures in at least two years. The snow is expected to continue over the next week, with the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning.Throughout Europe, airports and railroads were forced to change schedules to minimize disruptions due to the extreme weather. At France’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, about 40 percent of short- and medium-haul flights were affected. Motorists are also advised to be cautious while driving.

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