Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Balkans region hit by big freeze

A man pushes a car on a snow-covered street in Belgrade, Serbia (AP)
A man pushes a car on a snow-covered street in Belgrade, Serbia (AP)
Small trees are seen in a snow-covered field near Belgrade, Serbia (AP)
A child pulls her doll on a snow sledge in the Kosovo capital Pristina (AP)

Blizzards have closed roads, disrupted power supplies and shut down an airport in Montenegro, as the Balkans region faces a winter freeze that has caused travel chaos and left several people dead.

Officials said snowdrifts and avalanches blocked roads in hilly northern Montenegro, where about 3ft of snow fell overnight.

The snow also blanketed the capital Podgorica, closing down the city's airport.

Podgorica and several towns along the Adriatic coast were left without electricity for several hours.

In Serbia, the top emergency official apologised for failing to clear the roads over the weekend, when hundreds were stranded in buses and cars.

In Croatia, doctors issued warnings to the elderly and sick to stay indoors.

At least nine deaths across the region have been blamed on the snow and deep freeze, with temperatures as low as minus 15C.

Elsewhere in Serbia, where snow began to fall on Saturday, officials said road crews were still struggling to even clear the central squares of some cities.

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