Extreme weather waves across northern hemisphere result in death, chaos

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-10 21:01:03|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Extreme weather, including snowstorms and heavy rains, has slammed the northern hemisphere from Germany to Japan, taking several lives and resulting in severe economic losses.

At least 10 people have been killed in weather-related conditions over the last week while authorities said extreme weather will still continue in the coming days in several areas.

Three skiers and two hikers were killed over the weekend by avalanches in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg on Sunday, according to rescue services on Monday.

A woman who was buried by avalanche in Uri canton (state) of Switzerland earlier also reportedly died of her injuries on Saturday.

Authorities also said Monday that a woman who was buried by an avalanche last week has died of her injuries Saturday.

In Norway, an avalanche on Jan. 2 left four tourists from Finland and Sweden missing and presumed dead by police two days later.

The snowstorms have also caused traffic delays and other disruptions.

Southern parts of Germany suffered a walloping of snow on Wednesday, while the German Weather Service (DWD) forecast snow through next week, primarily in the Alpine region.

About 350 people are still trapped in Berchtesgaden, a small town in the German southern area, and the affected residents have to be supplied with food by trucks because the only road to the neighbourhood has been cut off by snow and fallen trees, a regional official said.

Many schools in Germany will remain closed for the rest of the week, while schools in the Greece's capital Athens and some surrounding areas also closed after a heavy snowfall.

The heavy snow in Greece also affected dozens of refugees there, said local police, where they have protested living conditions in tents as temperatures sunk to minus 20 degrees Celsius in some areas.

In addition, extreme weather also caused some travel headaches and traffic disruptions in some Asian countries.

Due to a heavy snow in Hokkaido, northern Japan, 150 flights were cancelled on Saturday as two runways at New Chitose Airport were closed and about 2,000 travelers were stranded overnight through Sunday.

In central China, 27 expressways in China's Henan Province have been partially closed or restricted after snow hit the region on Wednesday.

According to local authorities, passenger vehicles of seven seats and above have been banned from expressways in cities with heavy snow, including Kaifeng, Xinyang and Nanyang.

The cold wave also prompted over 5,000 people to be relocated in China's Hunan Province, according to local authorities. Over 860,000 residents were affected by freezing rain and snow earlier this month, which damaged 79,560 hectares of crops and caused a direct economic loss of about 819 million yuan (119.3 million U.S. dollars).