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October 16, 2009

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At least 3 die in European cold snap

A COLD snap with unseasonally early snowstorms killed at least three Poles, cut off power and heating to hundreds of thousands and caused traffic chaos across central Europe, media reported yesterday.

The three people died in mountains in southern Poland due to the severe weather, Polish television said.

Up to a quarter of a million people were still without power after the heavy snowfall and strong winds, local media said. On Wednesday, 700,000 people suffered power cuts.

Tens of thousands of Czechs lost power and heat supplies as high winds and heavy snow swept the central European country earlier than usual.

Traffic collapsed in northeastern parts of the country after fallen trees blocked roads and rail tracks, and mountain areas reported about 50-60 centimeters of fresh snow.

Power group CEZ declared a state of emergency in eight districts due to damaged electricity lines and outages caused by the weather, and sent out hundreds of workers to repair the damage.

A heating plant malfunction left many of the 40,000 residents in the northern town of Jablonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic without power and the mayor was considering closing schools, according to a news Website report.

Austria's Alps had as much as 90 centimeters of snow in the past two days, prompting several ski resorts in the southern parts of Styria to open their slopes ahead of plan for the earliest season start on record.


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