A nasty snow storm nicknamed Beast From the East has crippled UK, Ireland and large parts of Europe.
While parts of India have started experiencing heatwave conditions, the picture is the opposite in Europe. A nasty snow storm has wreaked havoc in large parts of Europe killing at least 55 people.
The high death toll has been partially attributed to a combination of the severe cold and alcohol consumption by homeless people, who drink hoping to warm up.
In Ireland, there is a curfew like situation with roads deserted and most transport and flights being suspended. Battered by powerful gusts of icy wind, Ireland alone has seen over 24,000 homes and businesses without power thus disrupting heating systems.
All schools in the country were shut and people were urged not to drive.
Many other countries across Europe too faced prolonged disruptions caused by snow and ice.
The unusually cold spell is attributed to a Siberian weather system which is so strong that its impact is being felt as far south as the balmy Mediterranean.
The system has been given various nicknames – in the UK it is “the Beast from the East”; while the Dutch call it the “Siberian bear”; and Swedes the “snow cannon”.
It met Storm Emma on Thursday, causing blizzards and strong winds in parts of England, Wales and Ireland. The Polish Capital experienced bone-chilling temperature of -15 deg C for over a week.
In parts of central Italy, ice forced the closure of several roads and railways.
Authorities have opened shelters to house homeless people.
According to AFP, five people were reported dead in Lithuania, four in France, two each in Serbia, Italy, Slovenia and Romania and one each in the UK and the Netherlands.
But there is a silver lining. The conditions have already improved in some parts of Europe, and the temperatures are expected to rise over the next couple of days.
But the cold weather is likely to continue in parts of the UK and Ireland