Heavy snowfall, freezing rain wreak havoc across Europe

Most flights were delayed by about an hour, and some got canceled, including flights to Frankfurt and Munich, the airport authorities said…reports Asian Lite News

Extreme weather conditions involving heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit many countries across Europe, causing flight cancellations and delays and disrupting road traffic.

In Belgium, departures from Brussels Airport in Zaventem were temporarily halted at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday as workers needed to clear the runways of snow, reports Xinhua news agency.

Most flights were delayed by about an hour, and some got canceled, including flights to Frankfurt and Munich, the airport authorities said.

Heavy snowfall in Brussels has caused traffic congestion on the Brussels Ring, especially in the Zaventem area towards Grand-Bigard. Belgium’s Transport En Commun (TEC) network was also disrupted by the extreme weather conditions.

In Liege and Charleroi, most buses were out of service on Wednesday. The quarter-finals of the Belgian Cup, featuring Union Saint-Gilloise against Anderlecht and Oud-Heverlee Louvain against Antwerp, have been postponed by a week, the organisers of Pro League, the top league competition for association football clubs in Belgium, have said.

Fortunately, no major disruptions were reported in Belgium’s railway system, according to Frederic Sacre, spokesperson for the railway network operator Infrabel. The weather in Belgium was characterised by a cold wave on Wednesday, with temperatures dropping below zero degree Celsius.

The forecasts from the Royal Meteorological Institute expect temperatures will plummet to minus 10 degrees Celsius or lower later this week. The institute has issued a yellow alert for freezing rain and slippery road conditions in many parts of the country.

In the neighboring the Netherlands, weather institute KNMI has also issued code yellow for many parts of the country due to snowy and slippery conditions. Heavy snow has fallen in Limburg, a province in the southeast of the country, causing long traffic jams on highways, and local authorities have issued urgent calls on motorists to avoid the highways.

Snowfall, up to 15 centimeters, is expected to continue in Limburg, said KNMI. On Wednesday morning, Dutch traffic association ANWB reported 35 traffic jams covering 155 km of roads.

During the day, trains running on the route between Utrecht and Sittard were reduced by half due to snowy conditions. Dozens of flights have been canceled or delayed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

In Luxembourg, all schools remain closed following a red alert for freezing rain and heavy snowfall declared by the national crisis unit on Tuesday.

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