Because of the heavy snowfalls in schools, classes are canceled, constant power outages force residents to buy generators, and public utilities switched to a round-the-clock mode of operation. Food trailers got stuck on the tracks in traffic jams, so the shelves in the stores are empty.
In Europe, winter came in one night. Like in a dream. Yesterday it was +2 and deep autumn, and in the morning there is an almost Christmas landscape outside the window. The Swiss could not resist first: Eurovision staff sent out to their colleagues shots demonstrating that it was absolutely Christmas weather and even girls in Santa Claus costumes were walking under the windows.
But it seems that this winter fairy tale turned out to be a fairy tale about the evil Snow Queen. For Europeans, snowfall has become a natural disaster.
In northern Spain, roads are closed for almost a thousand kilometers. There is no snow here for years or even decades. It is exotic for locals. And suddenly appeared meter-long snowdrifts paralyzed the life of 3 provinces.
Mila Alanza, the baker almost lost customers because of the snow: in cold weather, they simply do not dare to go out.
Mila Alanza, baker: “I had to take the loafs home. They are afraid of the cold, even schools closed because of snow for a couple of days.”
In neighboring France, everything is much more serious. Here, children also do not go to school.
Louis Belle: “My guys didn’t go to school today. There is no light in the city, the wires were cut off in the snow. I have to live by candlelight. I wanted to buy a generator, but in the city they suddenly became scarce.”
Repair crews are trying to fix power lines. By the evening they promise to fix everything. If the snow doesn’t pile up again.
Brigit Touro, electrician: “We did not expect this to happen. We thought we had a reliable power supply system.”
In eastern Austria, in the city of Tirol, the problems are the same. A meter of snow, blocked roads, utilities, which, although they work around the clock, can not cope with the weather. Because of the elements, even the rail service had to be stopped.
In Italy there are several disasters. North – knee-deep in the snow, roads blocked, In Rome – the most powerful hurricane – a city, as if after the invasion of the barbarians. There is not a single whole window left.
It is dangerous to move around the city due to rains: the urban sewage system cannot cope and water accumulates in the tunnels. In one of them a woman died. Her car stalled in the middle of the tunnel and went under water. But Rome is not the only flooded city in Italy. In Venice there is a flood and a storm. Now we have to get into the gondola, barely crossing the threshold, even the sidewalks disappeared under the water.
In the capital of Italy due to flooding declared a state of emergency
Many streets of Rome are flooded by the waters of the Tiber. Due to incessant heavy rains, the river level rose by more than 7 meters.
Under one of the central bridges, a trash barge was stuck. Experts fear that if the river level rises yet, the ship will be crushed and waste will fall into the water.
Rescuers and utilities are on high alert, but authorities have no plans to evacuate people. The flood affected several areas of the country. 3 people have already become victims of the disaster. Continues to flood Venice. Instead of souvenirs, tourists buy umbrellas and rubber boots.
Europe flooded and overwhelmed
Europe is paralyzed by heavy snowfalls
Having missed past central Russia, winter brought down all the power accumulated by mid-December to France, Italy and even Spain and Portugal, where they were used to seeing snow mainly on postcards. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity, even more – without the ability to drive their cars.
Where is Rome, where Venice can not be figured out. Four centimeters per hour – the Tiber is not in a hurry, but the civil defense service is afraid to lose every second. Frantically filling sandbags, they are laid out where it is most dangerous: on embankments and near metro stations.
Nobody has seen such a deep Tiber for a long time. The island of Tiberin is the lowest and most vulnerable place in the city. If you believe the legend that this is not an island at all, but a ship, then the stern of it has already been flooded. At the end of last week, when the water got very close, the local hospital was the first to be prepared for evacuation. No one has seen such a deep Tiber for a long time. The terrified city hall blocked part of the streets and even the “bridge of lovers” – Ponte Milvio – at the Olimpico stadium, which stood for almost two millennia.
“I am very afraid,” one of the local residents admitted. “I really hope that this whole story will someday end.”
Hope does not leave the British Isles either. There were trains between London and Bristol – the roads were blurred. Flooded several counties in England, Wales and Scotland. People are waiting for help knee-deep in the water. There are victims, but in this chaos, their number cannot yet be calculated.
“We had about 250 calls in an hour. Especially a lot from pensioners, for them this is a real test,” said Ian Name, a rescue spokesman.
And in France, heavy snowfall left without light 100 thousand families. Technicians cannot even get to the emergency sites – they are trying to drop them there by helicopters. In some places, the thickness of the snow cover is 80 centimeters, and the roads are one continuous traffic jam.
“This is only the beginning. Several of our teams are already clearing impassable drifts. We must be prepared for the situation to become even worse,” said Pierre Colin, a representative of the French road service.
The hardest emergency services in Portugal and Spain. The snow began even where it had not been seen for decades. Three thousand cars were trapped on the road to Madrid, the traffic jam stretched for 20 kilometers. Driving out of the house, the drivers simply ignored police requests to put on chains. In order not to freeze in the mountains, people just threw cars anywhere.
While Europe is tearing apart from snow in the north and heavy rains in the south, meteorologists do not promise anything good. In Rome, the flood will last until Wednesday until the rains end. In Spain and Portugal, there are still blizzards and strong winds – 90 meters per second. In the midst of the ski season, avalanches are waiting in Switzerland and warn tourists to be careful.