Winter snow storm cripples central Europe

Heavy snowfall responsible for two deaths as hundreds left stranded.

Europe winter storm
Heavy snow buried many parts of Austria and southern Germany [Christian Bruna/EPA]

A week-long winter storm has brought massive amounts of snow to central Europe with southern Germany and Austria getting slammed with the greatest amounts.

The heavy snow turned deadly when one person was killed on Saturday when a vehicle skidded on a slick road and struck another near the town of Bad Toelz. Four others were injured in the crash.

A woman who was part of a group visiting Teisenberg Mountain was also killed in an avalanche.

Some areas seeing the highest accumulation have been ski areas in Austria. Tauplitzalm in Styria measured 210cm of snow over the past week, while Innsbruck reported 120cm.

In Styria, Austria, several villages were snowed in because of the massive snowfall and avalanche danger. About 600 residents and tourists were cut off when the highway was closed.

Transportation across Austria and Germany was also severely affected. More than 200 flights were cancelled on Saturday in Munich, according to Flight Aware.

Many major highways across central Europe were closed because of the icy conditions. A spokeswoman for the German state police in Upper Bavaria reported, “We have so far about 25 accidents because of the slippery roads.”

Trains across the region were also delayed or cancelled because of the threat of avalanches.

In the Southern Alps, the avalanche danger was at Level 4, the second-highest warning that can be issued.

Heavy snow continued on Sunday with only a one-day pause before more is expected to fall on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies