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Seven reported dead from cold in France, 300+ in Europe

RFI/Anthony Terrade
Text by: Tony Cross
2 min

Seven people are reported to have died from cold in France, with a child and two homeless people the latest victims. Snow that fell on two-thirds of the country disrupted road and air traffic Sunday.


A 12-year-old boy died when the ice broke on a pond he was playing on in the eastern Visges region on Saturday and a Dutch skier was killed by an avalanche in the Alps.

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A 46-year-old woman died in a squat in Compiègne, near Paris, while a homeless man was found dead on a doorstep in Champigny-sur-Marne, on the outskirts of the capital.

And an 85-year-old man died on Friday night after being found suffering from hypothermia, according to France 3 television.

Two older people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease had already been reported dead.

A group of five hikers in the Jura mountains were luckier. With the temperature at -15°C, they were found suffering from hypothermia after getting lost. Emergency services rescued them and they survived.

Flights to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports were late leaving or arriving Sunday and road traffic continued to be disrupted.

Forecasters expect the cold to last at least until Wednesday, although the snowfall was already slacking off in parties of the country on Sunday afternoon.

France’s electricity company, EDF, says it is confident it can meet demand, which is expected to reach a historic high on Monday night.

Over 300 people have died in Europe, along with 16 in Algeria.

  • Algeria: Avalanches, blocked roads, power cuts, asphyxiation and flooding have caused 16 deaths and 122 injuries;
  • Ukraine: Nine people died on Saturday night, bringing the toll to 131;
  • Poland: Eight people died overnight, in total 53 dead;
  • United Kingdom: Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow, was working at 30 per cent capacity, sections of motorway and the road to the port of Dover were closed;
  • Snow was heading for Belgium and Germany on Sunday, according to forecasters, who said that there could be new snowfall in Italy, Greece and the Balkans.


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