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62 killed, 53 injured as avalanches hit Pakistan

4 Dead as #Storms and #Flooding Hit #Italy and #Greece

Severe Flood Warning

Greece
Parts of Greece have seen torrential rain, strong winds and stormy seas since 24 November, 2019. Two people died after strong winds and stormy seas capsized a moored boat in Antirio.

Heavy rain caused flash flooding and landslides in Kineta, west of the capital Athens. The Fire Department say they received 47 calls for the Kineta area including 27 rescues. Parts of the surrounding road network were blocked.

Further north, around 6 buildings were damaged after flooding in Katerini in Pieria. The Fire Department also attended flood incidents in areas around ​​Ierissos, Halkidiki and Thassos.

Flooding was also reported on some of the country’s islands, in particular Rhodes on 25 November. One person was found dead in a flooded building, 6 people were rescued and 7 others evacuated. The Fire Department received 190 calls for assistance, mainly for the areas in the north of the island including Ialyssos, Kremasti and the city of Rhodes. Greek Civil Protection have since declared a state of emergency for the island.

Italy
In Italy, part of a motorway viaduct near Savona in Liguria Region was washed away by a landslide and flood waters. The rain has caused numerous other landslides across the region, prompting around 100 evacuations.

In Piedmont Region, one person died after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters from the overflowing Bormida River in Sezzadio Municipality, Alessandria Province. Two others survived. Around 200 people were evacuated after flooding in the province, with around 160 others were left isolated.

In the Lombardy Region, the River Ticino burst its banks causing flooding in the of Pavia, prompting flood rescues.

Heavy snowfall and avalanches have also caused major problems in the north of the country. Around 500 people were evacuated in the Aosta Valley Region.

Meanwhile Venice has suffered yet further flooding from high tides, known as acqua alta. Peak tide level reached 1.3 metres on 24 November, prompting authorities to close some buildings. The city has been regularly flooded by high tides since mid-November.

Courtesy of floodlist.com

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#Snow Brings Parts Of #Europe To Standstill

Children walk along a snow covered road in Gerold, Germany, 11 January 2019

Some of the heaviest snow was in Bavaria where some villages were cut off – Photo By EPA

Heavy snowfalls brought chaos to parts of Germany and Sweden on Friday, leaving roads blocked, trains halted and schools shut.

The Red Cross helped drivers stuck on a motorway in the southern German state of Bavaria and a nine-year-old boy was killed by a falling tree.

The front of a Swiss hotel was hit by an avalanche and a winter storm made roads impassable in Sweden and Norway.

Austrian rescuers had to battle through chest-deep snow to reach a snowboarder.

The 41-year-old Pole had lost his way after going off piste at the resort of Schlossalmbahn.

Rescuers climb through deep snow to reach a Polish snowboarder
Rescuers said the Polish snowboarder was stuck on an icy rock covered in two metres of snow – Photo By BERGRETTUNG BAD HOFGASTEIN

There was some respite in Austria on Friday, after three metres of snow fell in some parts in previous days. Seven people have died in the past week and two hikers have been missing since Saturday.

“Such quantities of snow above 800m altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years,” said Alexander Radlherr from Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics.

The Austrian military sent helicopters to blow snow off treetops to reduce the risk of trees falling on roads and rails.

In Sweden wintry storms ravaged parts of the north. One area recorded winds of 49.7m per second (111mph) as Storm Jan ravaged Stekenjokk near the Norwegian border.

A track vehicle of the German armed forces Bundeswehr drives through the snow to supply the cut off Buchenhoehe settlement area in Berchtesgaden, southern Germany, on January 10, 2019
The armed forces were sent in when hundreds of people were cut off near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria – Photo By AFP

In northern Norway, a lorry driver described on Friday morning how he and other drivers had been stuck on a mountain road since 17:00 (16:00 GMT) on Thursday. Magnar Nicolaisen told public broadcaster NRK that he had slept in his cabin overnight while others had had to stay in their cars.

Conditions on Friday were particularly treacherous in Bavaria, where the local broadcaster said snowfalls were paralysing public life.

Rail services were worst hit in the south and east of the state and roads were cut off by drifts and falling trees.

A boy of nine was killed near Munich when a tree collapsed under the weight of snow. It was 40 minutes before he was found and emergency services were unable to revive him.

Two sections of the big A8 autobahn were closed in the south-east, as drivers spent Thursday night at a standstill near Rosenheim. The Bavarian Red Cross and a government agency came to the aid of the drivers.

A boy runs through the snow-covered town centre of Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany, 10 January 2019
Hundreds of people around the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden were cut off by heavy snow – Photo By EPA

Roads in the Berchtesgaden area close to the Austrian border were blocked and the army sent up to 200 soldiers to help hundreds of people caught up in the snow.

There was a let-up in the weather on Friday ahead of expected of further snowfalls on Saturday night. However, some 90 flights were cancelled in Munich while some flights in Frankfurt were also hit.

In Switzerland, an avalanche hit a hotel restaurant, injuring three people. Local reports said the avalanche had been 300m in width when it came down the Schwägalp.

The snow is seen at the Säntis hotel after an avalanche hit it in Schwägalp, Switzerland
Hotel guests were stunned when the avalanche crashed into the back of the restaurant – Photo By REUTERS

Rescuers searched the area on Friday in case anyone near the Hotel Säntis had been caught up in the avalanche.

Cars were left buried in the snow and even a bus was left partly submerged.

One guest in the hotel restaurant said that initially he thought snow was falling from the roof.

“There there was a gigantic noise, and the back area of the restaurant was engulfed in masses of snow,” the guest told Tagblatt.

Snow covers a building door at Santis-Schwaegalp mountain area after an avalanche, in Switzerland January 10, 2019.
The outside of the hotel showed some of the damage caused by the avalanche – Photo By REUTERS

Courtesy of BBC News

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