Snow HELL hits Europe! People stranded in cars for 10 hours as weather hammers Greece

Greece: Snow blankets Athens as severe weather hits country

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A blizzard has seen Instanbul blanketed with snow, forcing Turkey’s busiest airport to shut. Meanwhile the freezing conditions have also hit the Greek capital, with rescue crews working overnight to help people stranded in their cars on a motorway.

More than 3,500 people had been evacuated from the capital’s main ring road by early Tuesday.

Government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou said: “We had a very difficult night and a superhuman evacuation effort is underway on Attiki Odos.

“We are still in a very difficult phase, as the forecasts indicate that we will face (weather) difficulties again in a while.”

Soldiers handed out food, water and blankets to drivers, some of whom were stuck in their cars for more than 10 hours.

Tuesday has been declared a public holiday with just supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations remaining open in the Athens area and on some islands.

The freezing weather led to schools closing their doors to pupils, with lessons moved online.

The Greek meteorological service said the cold snap was likely to continue until Wednesday.

Parts of the capital were hit by power cuts, with crews desperately working to restore electricity.

Meanwhile in Turkey, Instanbul Airport suspended flights on Monday and Tuesday due to the extreme weather.

In an update on Twitter just after 12.30pm today, the airport shared a video of vehicles clearing thick snow.

It said: “Snow accumulation, which is measured as 41 cm on the apron, runway and taxiway is being cleared by our team with 500 personnel and 180 snow removal vehicles, to prepare our airport for starting operations at full speed.”

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Snowfall began late last week and picked up in recent days in Istanbul.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said 55,000 tonnes of salt had been used on roads.

He said: “We hope that if we overcome tonight with measures as well, we won’t have any problems left. May God protect everyone,”

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Authority said more than 4,600 people were stranded across the country and more than 6,700 taken to shelters.

Thousands of containers of food supplies were delivered to those in need.

And in Turkey’s south, snow fell on the beaches of the resort city of Antalya for the first time in 29 years.

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