Tue, January 06, 2009
World > Europe

Snow blankets Europe

2009-01-06 08:36:13 GMT2009-01-06 16:36:13 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

People walk with a dog after snow falls in the Tiergarten park in Berlin January 5, 2008. [Agencies]

Youngsters toboggan in the snow, in Princes Risborough, southern England January 5, 2009. [Agencies]

A car drives on a snow-covered road in Bethencourt near Cambrai, northern France, as winter weather hits France January 5, 2009. [Agencies]

A snow-covered beetle is seen after snowfalls in Dortmund January 5, 2009.[Agencies]

Sparrows are seen in a city park after heavy overnight snowfall in Skopje January 5, 2009. [Agencies]

PARIS: A winter storm brought blankets of snow across Europe on Monday, forcing the closure of an icy Eiffel Tower in Paris and causing flight cancellations.

Up to four inches of snow was recorded in parts of France, the national weather service said. Most areas, including Paris, got around half that amount.

French authorities issued traffic alerts in around 30 regions because of icy roads.

The Eiffel Tower, one of Paris' main tourist attractions, was closed because of slippery conditions.

"We can't put down salt because it's metallic," Eiffel Tower press officer Isabelle Esnous said. "We can't use sand either ... because it risks getting into the elevator (cogs)."

The cold, she said, is no problem, but snow can be dangerous.

A dozen flights were canceled at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, officials said. The Paris airport authority said bad weather in other parts of Europe contributed to the cancellations.

Workers had been deployed since midnight Sunday to clear runways at Charles de Gaulle and the smaller Orly airport.

In Germany, heavy snowfall snarled road traffic and flight delays and cancellations at the country's international airports.

Duesseldorf International Airport said no flights were allowed in or out between 6-9 a.m. (0500-0800 GMT) Monday because clearing crews were unable to keep up with the snow.

More than 30 flights were canceled because of the bad weather, airport spokesman Christian Witt said. Up to four inches of snow was reported in Duesseldorf and around six inches in Potsdam, just outside Berlin.

Flights from Frankfurt International Airport were delayed as much as an hour but none had to be canceled.

Traffic stopped for hours on many of Germany's autobahns as snowplows struggled to clear the roads amid heavy post-holiday traffic.

Germany's National Weather Service is forecasting subzero temperatures for the coming days.

Snow also fell across Britain. Children built snowmen in parts of England, including Cambridge.


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