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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

https://tinyurl.com/ycz76mxw

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Heavy Snowfall In Japan

29.12.18 Heavy Snow In Japan

A local resident plows snow piled on a street in the city of Yokote in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Akita on Dec. 27, 2018. (Mainichi/Shin Sato)

Heavy snowfall hit extensive areas in northern and central Japan along the Sea of Japan coast on Dec. 29, affecting holidaymakers going back to their hometowns to spend the year-end and New Year’s vacation.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of heavy snowfalls and blizzards in Hokkaido as well as areas along the Sea of Japan coast in northeastern and central Japan among other areas.

According to Central Japan Railway Co., bullet trains were being forced to travel at reduced speeds on the Nagoya-Kyoto section of the Tokaido Shinkansen Line because of snowfall in central and western Japan. As a result, bullet trains on the line have been delayed by up to 65 minutes.

Many bullet trains are full of holidaymakers as the year-end and New Year’s holiday period began on Dec. 29.

Services were completely suspended on Dec. 29 on the JR Ou Line between Niwasaka and Yonezawa, the Kitakami Line between Kitakami and Yokote and the Hanawa Line between Koma and Odate, all in northeastern Japan due to the snow. Trains were also delayed on some lines affected by the snow.

Many flights mainly to and from the northern island of Hokkaido and the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan have been cancelled, airline companies said.

A winter atmospheric pressure pattern that has brought the heavy snow is expected to last until around Dec. 30.

Courtesy of mainichi.jp

https://tinyurl.com/y8frjldq

Police officer among three stabbed in #Manchester city centre, #UK

Terrorism Alert

Three people, including a police officer, have been stabbed at Manchester Victoria station – amid reports of a man wielding a knife.

The station, in the city centre, has been closed while a man has been arrested.

Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) were called shortly before 9pm on New Year’s Eve.

Two members of the public, a man and a woman, were taken to hospital with knife injuries.

A BTP officer also received treatment after being stabbed in the shoulder.

A BTP spokesperson said: “Officers are attending Manchester Victoria station following reports of a man wielding a knife.

“We received the call at 8.52pm on Monday, 31 December.

“A man has been detained and two members of the public, a man and a woman have been taken to hospital with knife injuries.

“A BTP officer is also receiving treatment for a stab wound to the shoulder.

“British Transport Police remain at the scene along with colleagues from Greater Manchester Police and the North West Ambulance Service.”

Courtesy of Sky News

https://tinyurl.com/y8lnyf2r

Dozens of carriages fall on to highway after train derails in Georgia, USA

More than two-dozen carriages are thought to have fallen on to the road. Pic: Montezuma Police Department
More than two-dozen carriages are thought to have fallen on to the road. Pic: Montezuma Police Department
Up to 30 carriages have fallen on to a highway in Georgia after a train derailed on a bridge, according to US authorities.
 
The entire population of Byromville – about 500 people – was evacuated following the accident, which happened at around 7am local time.
 
Fire chief Brett Wallis told WMAZ-TV that between 15 and 30 carriages had fallen on to Georgia Highway 90, with some of them said to contain propane gas.
 
Operator CSX Railroad has confirmed that the train had 72 loaded carriages and 69 empty ones.
 
No injuries have been reported but several roads have been closed in the area, with traffic being diverted as police assess the damage.
Courtesy of Sky News

At least 17 dead and 126 injured as train overturns in Taiwan

Several carriages flipped during the accident in Yilan County
Several carriages flipped during the accident in Yilan county
At least 17 people are dead and dozens more are injured after a train derailed and overturned on a coastal railway in Taiwan.
 
Several carriages flipped over during the accident in Yilan county, which happened on a line popular among tourists.
 
The Taiwan Railways Administration said the train had been moving between two stations beforehand.
At least 17 people have died and 80 are injured
At least 17 people have died and 80 are injured
“As of 6.30pm (11.30am BST) there are 17 dead on site and 126 people injured,” a spokesman added.
 
Rescue services are on the scene, with the Central News Agency reporting that more than 30 people are still trapped.
 
More than 300 passengers were on-board.
 
The cause of the tragedy – which comes just days after another deadly train accident in India – is not yet known.
Courtesy of Sky News