Slovenia paralysed by ice, more snow coming

Last updated 05:55 05/02/2014
Slovenia ice
Reuters

ENCASED IN ICE: A man attempts to dig out his ice-covered car in the Slovenian town of Postojna

Relevant offers

Europe

US fighter jets escort Air France flight to New York after threat Irish gay marriage vote: archbishop says church needs 'reality check' Cyclist speaks about running over toddler Police hunt Oxford University groundsman as three victims named Greece cannot make International Monetary Fund repayment, minister says Cyclist hits double-decker bus Polish presidential race too close to call Prince Harry back with Chelsy Davy? France bans supermarkets from throwing away edible food German grandma, 65, and mother of 13, has quadruplets

Snow and ice has paralysed Slovenia, bringing down trees and electricity pylons, cutting power from 50,000 homes and causing millions of euros of damage.

Three days of blizzards inflicted "the worst devastation in living memory" in the small Alpine country, local media said. More bad weather is expected this week.

Fluctuating temperatures caused snow to half melt and then freeze again, leaving parked cars entombed in a thick shell of ice.

In and around the city of Postojna, in the west, people used axes to try to free their cars from ice 15 cm (6 inches) thick.

With railways at a standstill and some petrol stations and even bank ATM machines frozen solid, the country faced millions of euros of losses through infrastructure damage and economic inertia. Slovenia's busiest port, Koper, ground to a halt.

Slovenia has suffered the worst weather in the region, which also hit neighbouring Croatia. The environment agency warned that more snow was on its way.

"After a brief 24-hour respite, a new period of bad weather is coming," the agency's Brane Gregorcic told a news conference. "It may not be heavy, but it will be an additional burden and create new troubles."

Roughly half of Slovenia's forests, 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres), has been damaged, authorities have estimated.

An added risk is flooding once the ice melts, experts warned.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said: "We will do everything we can to stabilise the situation as soon as possible, but it will take a while."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content