Big freeze grips Europe, 4 dead in Bulgaria

2014-01-29 16:41
Romanian soldiers clear snow from around an old house in the village of Vadu. (Vadim Ghirda, AP)

Romanian soldiers clear snow from around an old house in the village of Vadu. (Vadim Ghirda, AP)

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Sofia - A cold spell is gripping parts of central and eastern Europe, killing four people in Bulgaria over the past few days, Wednesday being the coldest day of the year in Moscow.

In Bulgaria, heavy snow and strong winds have left dozens of villages in the eastern half of the Balkan country without electricity and water.

A 76-year-old man died after getting stuck in a snowdrift in the village of Povet, near the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Three other men have died in weather-related incidents in eastern villages in the last two days.

Many roads are closed to traffic while rescue teams try to bring food supplies to remote areas. Hundreds of schools remain closed. The main Black Sea port of Varna was shut because of high winds.

Snow fell in the central Adriatic coast in Croatia, which is highly unusual because the region has a Mediterranean climate. The ice and snow in the seaside town of Sibenik prompted authorities to close down the schools there. Heavy snow is also falling in neighbouring Montenegro, causing road traffic problems.

Temperatures dipped to -22°C in Moscow and -31°C in surrounding regions, making it the coldest day of the year.

The temperature was 10 degrees below average for this time of year and expected to drop further.

Read more on:    moscow  |  bulgaria  |  weather

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