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EUROPE | Massive storms

At least 17 dead as a series of fierce storms blanket Europe

Digital writers

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 5:09 PM - More than a dozen people have died in the past week and traffic has been brought to a standstill across parts of eastern and northern Europe following a series of winter storms that have blanketed the region with snow.

In some places, roads have been marked unpassable, among them the access road to Germany's Buchenhoehe district, leaving around 350 people trapped, according to the Express.

(RELATED: One dead, two missing as blizzards hit Greece)

In Austria, some 600 residents and tourists were trapped in the Styria region.


  • At least 17 people have died in weather-related incidents since the storms began
  • A growing risk of avalanches has prompted evacuations in Norway
  • The German Armed Forces has been called in to remove snow from rooftops in the town of Berchtesgaden

Some residential areas have received as much as 150 centimetres of snow -- enough to completely bury some homes, prompting German officials to request assistance from the country's armed forces. Higher elevations have seen upwards of 200 cm of snow.


Most of the seventeen deaths related to the storms are due to avalanches, Weather.com reports. In addition to those deaths, a 7-year-old child was killed in Germany by a tree that collapsed under the weight of snow. A 44-year-old German man was also killed by a fallen tree branch is a separate incident.

In Romania, police found the frozen body of a 67-year-old man in a carpark.

On Monday night, 11 German hikers were rescued from a cabin near Salzburg, Austria, after spending more than 48 hours snowed in without food and electricity.


Hundreds of flights and trains have been cancelled due to the conditions.

Some roads and highways have been shut down following several reports of car crashes.

Meanwhile, several areas are on high alert, with the risk of avalanches increasing with each additional 30 cm of snowfall.

On Wednesday, about 100 people were evacuated in Norway's Arctic Svalbard islands due to an elevated avalanche risk, according to the Associated Press.

German publication Zeit reports more than 1,600 km of ski runs have been shut down due to the weather.


Several snowfall warnings have been issued across the impacted region, with many expected to remain in effect until Friday.

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