Deadly storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' pounds Europe

Sean Reid
March 3, 2018

Germany's meteorological office, meanwhile, recorded a temperature of -30° at Zugspitze, the country's highest peak, and lows well below -10°C in most of the country.

The so-called "Beast from the East" had much of the United Kingdom in its icy grasp this morning as overnight temperatures plummeted to minus 12 in some places.

At least four people have died of exposure in Poland since Saturday and the mercury dipped to 10 degrees there overnight, while temperatures in Lithuania - which saw three deaths - plunged to below minus -4 degrees Tuesday, AFP reported.

An Arctic blast from Eurasia - dubbed the "Beast from the East" - is now plunging England and Wales into its coldest weather in 27 years, the UK Met Office said.

At least three people were killed in a vehicle crash in Lincolnshire, a county in eastern England, and at least two people were found dead in Romania, one of them an 83-year-old woman who was discovered collapsed in the snow. "We probably haven't seen it this cold or disruptive since March 2013".

Residents of the Italian capital woke up on Monday to find their city covered in snow, the unusually freezing conditions prompting some seminarians to launch a snowball fight in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

As the cold becomes progressively more brutal, local authorities are scrambling to find shelters for the homeless.

Schools were shut across Kosovo, western Bosnia and much of Albania, as well as in parts of Britain, Italy and Portugal.

Etterbeek mayor Vincent De Wolf said the cold was a "major risk", stressing that it was his responsibility to avoid potential deaths with temperatures set to drop to minus 15 deg C on Wednesday night.

"It is the coldest air we have seen over the United Kingdom at this time of the year since around 1991", Becky Mitchell, a meteorologist at Britain's Met Office, said.

For many cities in Europe, including Rome, Munich, Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Dublin, this is the coldest weather seen in several years, if not longer.

On Tuesday morning, the icy temperatures reached the Netherlands and Britain and caused travel disruptions. At least five people died in incidents attributed to the weather.

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