Beast from the East: Extreme Snowstorm Blankets Europe


Andreas Klippe no responses April 13, 2019

Unusually severe snowfalls crippled parts of Europe affecting Germany and Austria the most. Schools have closed down, some remote villages were cut off and power supplies and traffic was disrupted in many areas across the region.

The strong cold snap that dumped heavy snow on Europe and plunged the continent in a historic deep freeze is dubbed as the “Beast from the East”.

120 flights at the Frankfurt Airport, 90 at Munich and 159 European flights to and from Amsterdam had to be cancelled. Train operations had to be halted and delayed. Towns in Germany such as the Berchtesgaden in Bavaria was put under a state of emergency due to the severity of the situation.

Snowstorm
Extreme snowstorm blasted throughout Europe during the first months of 2019. 

The heavy winter storm which lasted for more than a week turned deadly as more than 24 people have been killed from weather-related incidents. Hundreds of people have been trapped in the Alpine regions. Fatal avalanches caused deaths in Slovakia, France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Some parts of Austria have even reached a level four warning on the European Avalanche Warning scale.

Heavy snow covered many parts of Europe burying cars and roads in deep snow.Heavy snow covered many parts of Europe burying cars and roads in deep snow.

A report by the Insurance Journal says that there were attempts to find bodies of skiers who were already presumed dead after a 300 meter or 990 foot wide avalanche hit the area.

10 feet of snow fell over Austria leaving seven people dead, and others missing. According to Austria’s Central Institution for Meteorology and Geodynamics, quantities of snow above an 800 meter altitude only happen once every 30 to 100 years.

Low-lying coastal regions in the Netherlands were slammed with strong winds and high seas prompting the authorities to check on the dikes and make sure that they were not damaged.

No calm after the storm

A series of major destructive storms made its rounds across many regions in the continent month after month. Just weeks after the deadly snow storm, another severe storm hit parts of the United Kingdom. Snow that fell overnight over Scotland, Ireland and parts of England became the first blow of the storm that was about to devastate the region.

A tornado was reported in western Germany that damaged 30 houses, and injured five people. Flood warnings have also been issued in Ireland, Wales and northern England due to the saturated nature of the ground in those regions.

A man shoveling his car out of the deep snow that buried it.A man shoveling his car out of the deep snow that buried it.

A deadly storm dubbed ‘Eberhard’ wreaked havoc in Germany on the 2nd week of March 2019 killing 1 person and causing travel chaos in the country. Trains stopped and some flights were cancelled at Frankfurt and Cologne and others were redirected.

The storm’s extreme winds caused a roof to fly, eventually crushing a car on its way while a motorist in Bestwig died due to a tree that fell on his car. The country’s most populous state was hit the hardest.

During the first week of April 2019, a snow warning has yet again been issued as another storm named “Freya” swept across UK affecting Scotland and parts of Northern England.

The ultimate message here is…

As you may have seen and read in our previous blog posts, extreme and severe weather was and is happening in almost every corner of the world.

Must we be alarmed? Absolutely.

But we must not panic. All we want is to raise awareness about the harrowing effects of our changing and warming planet.

Lives and properties are lost day by day due to unforeseen calamities and there’s no way to prevent that from happening.

On our part, what we can do is take precautionary actions beforehand and learn to prepare to protect ourselves for what’s about to unfold.

My questions for you are…

As a simple citizen, what can you do to help alleviate the effects of climate change? What ways do you take to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your family against unprecedented disasters?

Andreas Klippe

About author

Andreas Klippe is founder of the Asian Center for Flood Control located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines.

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