Icy weather continues to affect travellers around Europe

Ski enthusiasts among hardest hit travellers

Travel Insurance News - 12/01/2010

<< Obama unimpressed by attempts to stop airline bomber | Travel News | UK rallies round after earthquake hits Haiti >>

Sub-zero weather had disrupted travel operations across Europe yesterday, resulting in the grounding of flights in Geneva’s airport and the declaration of a state of emergency on Germany's Baltic coast.

Thousands of travellers were stuck at Geneva's airport after heavy overnight snow kept the air terminal closed until noon. Airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli informed that it was the airport’s first time to have a lot of ice on the runway since 1985. As result, flights originating and departing from Geneva were delayed or cancelled, and about 100,000 frustrated passengers lined up to reschedule their flights at the airport.

Many German, British and other European ski enthusiasts use Geneva’s airport to reach famous French and Swiss resorts in the close by Alpine region, including Verbier.

Meanwhile, schools were closed and hundreds of motorists were forced to abandon their vehicles in the north-eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as heavy snowfall hit the area. Local authorities had already declared a state of emergency in the worst hit Ostvorpommern district.

Police had also warned that levees in the neighbouring Schleswig-Holstein state showed cracks yesterday, threatening low-lying villages with floods. The coastal towns of Travemuende and Flensburg had already been hit by flood yesterday afternoon.

In related news, around 200,000 households in Poland had suffered from electricity outage. In addition, workers and shoppers quickly evacuated a shopping centre in Leszno after its roof began to crush under a 1.5-meter of snow. A Polish police spokesman informed that since October, approximately 152 people had died from freezing.

Meanwhile, UK chemical firm Ineos said that it had set aside 12,000 metric tonnes of salt for use on roads. The UK government had urged local authorities to lessen the amount of salt they put on roads by a quarter to conserve supplies.

<< Obama unimpressed by attempts to stop airline bomber | Travel News | UK rallies round after earthquake hits Haiti >>