The Netherlands has suffered its first snow storm in more than a decade. All the elements joined forces to leave the country totally blocked. Germany and England have also suffered the icy onslaught of what the British have dubbed “The Beast from the East.”
It has been a weekend of postcards, of snowy cities, raging waves and snow-covered beaches. Part of Europe suffered a polar scourge, turning large areas of Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom white.
“The Beast from the East. Part Two”. This is how British humor has baptized this storm, caused by cold winds coming from Russia. In eastern England, several COVID-19 vaccination centers had to shut down, with no time to notify their customers.
“I had an appointment this afternoon at four thirty and I risked coming”says a man, frustrated at having made the trip in vain.
Snow puts West and North Germany in check
In Germany, heavy snowfalls and freezing temperatures put several regions in the west and north of the country in check, turning roads into dangerous ice rinks. There were hundreds of accidents. At least 28 people were injured. Police intervened to cut traffic on several highways.
“There are strong gusts of wind and snow. The roads are slippery -explains Boris Kuest, officer of the Lingen Highway Police-. Authorities are doing their best to keep the highway lanes open. However, citizens are advised to forego travel if it is not absolutely necessary“.
Total paralysis in the Netherlands from the first snow storm in more than a decade
But the hardest and most unexpected blow was for the Netherlands. The country was completely paralyzed by the first snowstorm in more than a decade. A snowfall that was accompanied by extreme cold and gusts of wind of up to 90 kilometers per hour.
This cocktail forced to declare the red alert throughout the territory and cut rail, air and road traffic.
France suffers severe floods
In France, the problem did not come from snow but from rain, which has overflowed rivers and caused severe flooding in various towns in the Charente-Maritime region, in the south-west of the country. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated from their homes.
In Paris, the statue of Zouave, on the Alma bridge, which serves as a popular marker during the floods, was partially submerged due to the rising level of the Seine River.