Rare Rome snowstorm closes Colosseum

2012-02-03 16:02
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Europe's winter wonderland

Europe has been blanketed in snow as a Siberian cold front has brought record low temperatures to the region. See a selection of stunning pictures.

kalahari.com

Rome - Heavy snow fell in central Rome on Friday, giving tourists a rare sight of whitened landmarks such as Saint Peter's Square and the Trevi Fountain, while the Colosseum and the Roman Forum were closed due to the icy conditions.

In the heaviest snowfalls in the Italian capital since the 1980s, around 40cm of snow had settled in the northern outskirts of the city by midday. It is forecast to intensify throughout the day and overnight, before easing off on Saturday.

Mayor Gianni Alemanno instructed schools to remain open on Friday and Saturday but not to hold any lessons in order that children unable to attend did not fall behind. He said on Friday only 5% of children had gone to school.

The unaccustomed snow caused traffic jams around the ancient city.

Heavy snow has fallen over much of Italy this week causing severe disruption to train and road transport, especially in the mountainous regions of Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Umbria.

On Wednesday passengers were stuck for seven hours in the countryside on a train that was to have gone from Bologna in the north to Taranto in the south after the electrical wires froze over.

222 dead

Meanwhile the death toll from the cold snap across Europe has gone past 220 with forecasters warning that the big freeze would tighten its grip at the weekend, say reports.

In the last seven days, a total of 222 people have died from the cold weather, according to an AFP tally.

Ukraine's emergencies ministry raised the death toll substantially from a previous 63 to 101, of whom 64 died on the streets.

Almost 1 600 people have requested medical attention for frostbite and hypothermia and thousands have flocked to temporary shelters that have been set up across the country for people to find warmth and food.

The ferocious temperatures killed eight more people over the last 24 hours in Poland, bringing the death toll to 37 since the deep freeze began a week ago, police said.

Temperatures plunged to -35° in some areas of Poland, while in Bulgaria parts of the River Danube have frozen over, severely hindering navigation.

Schools closed

Elsewhere in Bulgaria, another six people were found dead from the cold, bringing the overall tally to 16 in the last week, according to local media. No official figures have been released.

Most of the dead in the European Union's poorest country were villagers found frozen to death on the side of the road or in their unheated homes, the reports said.

More than 1 000 Bulgarian schools remained closed for a third day on Friday amid fresh snowfalls and piercing winds in the northeast of the country.

In neighbouring Romania two more people died, bringing the overall toll to 24, and hundreds of school remained closed.

Estonia and France announced their first casualties of the freeze, with a man found frozen to death on a street in Talinn and an 82-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer's dying of hypothermia in the eastern French village of Lemberg after wandering out of his home in pyjamas.

Rescuers in Serbia ploughed through snowdrifts to get food, supplies and aid to residents of mountain villages, where thousands of people have been trapped by the inclement weather.

UK bracing for snow

"To help a woman who needed to reach a hospital we were breaking through 2m snow drifts, which lasted for two and a half hours," said Vedran Taskovic, a rescuer in the southeastern town of Vranje.

"Eventually, we had to make a sleigh of nylon bags to get her to the road, as she couldn't walk."

Swathes of Britain were bracing for snow after temperatures plunged to -11° overnight in Chesham, southeast England, with authorities warning that the cold could catch people off-guard after a warmer-than-normal winter so far.

The French, who have cranked up their heating systems were on Monday expected to break an all time power consumption record set in 2010, with consumers being asked in some regions to turn off appliances for at least four hours per day to avoid blackouts.

The cold snap has also killed people in the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania, Austria and even Greece.

Read more on:    estonia  |  romania  |  poland  |  ukraine  |  italy  |  uk  |  france  |  bulgaria  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.