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Europe hit by snow and extreme cold

posted 4 Feb 2012, 11:20 by Mpelembe   [ updated 4 Feb 2012, 11:21 ]

Rome is shut down by snow while extreme cold hits central and eastern Europe. Sunita Rappai reports.

VARIOUS-EUROPE SNOW -The unfamiliar sight of Rome's famous Piazza Venezia nestled under a blanket of snow.


The Italian capital has been brought to a standstill by the rare snowfall, with the city's usually bustling streets eerily quiet on Saturday morning.


But many who ventured out were delighted by the heavy snow - with some especially pleased by its impact on the city's notoriously congested traffic.


ROME RESIDENT GENNARO DI NAPOLI

"Rome has turned into a city for the pedestrians, for the first time Rome is pedestrian and not overtaken by public transport and cars."


Eastern Europe has been particularly badly hit by the cold snap.

Here in Ukraine, where the death toll from the icy temperatures has now risen to 122, people feed swans and try to free them from ice.


Ukraine is experiencing its coldest winter in six years, registering overnight temperatures as low as minus 33 degrees Celsius.


Serbia's capital Belgrade also woke up to snowy streets, with the army sending soldiers to clear the pavements.


The Serbian government has declared a state of emergency in 19 municipalities where six people have died from the cold..


The government is also advising businesses and residents to reduce their energy consumption to help prevent shortages.


Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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