Saturday, February 11, 2012

Death-Toll From European Deep Freeze Hits 540 As Danube Freezes Over

Before It's News

GERMANY – Thick ice closed vast swathes of the Danube on Thursday, crippling shipping on Europe’s busiest waterway, as the death toll from bitter cold across the continent rose to at least 540.
As it has every day for nearly two weeks, the brutal cold claimed lives in several countries and killed dozens more in weather-related accidents. The 2,860-kilometre (1,780-mile) Danube, which flows through 10 countries and is vital for transport, power, irrigation, industry and fishing, was wholly or partially blocked from Austria to its mouth on the Black Sea. Navigation was impossible or restricted in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, as ice covered the river or formed dangerous floes in shipping lanes. An official from the Serbian economy ministry said the commercial repercussions “could be very bad,” while infrastructure ministry official Pavle Galico said shipping would not resume for 10 days.

Bulgarian authorities, who have banned all navigation on the river, reported 224 vessels stuck in ports, and Ukrainian rescuers in Croatia reached three crew members on a ship trapped in the ice since Friday. Temperatures in Bulgaria dropped to a new record low Thursday of minus 28.6 degrees Celsius (minus 19.5 Fahrenheit) in the northwestern town of Vidin. The country has halted all power exports due to the cold snap. So far, 28 people have been killed in Bulgaria as a result of the weather, including eight who drowned when the icy waters of a small dam swept through their village of Biser in the southeast. Serbian railways, meanwhile, said the famed Balkan Express train that runs from Belgrade to Istanbul would only go as far as Sofia for now because of the flooding in Bulgaria.

Help Us Transmit This Story

    Add to Your Blogger Account
    Put it On Facebook
    Tweet this post
    Print it from your printer
     Email and a collection of other outlets
     Try even more services

No comments:

Post a Comment