Beast from the east chills Europe

Randal Sanchez
March 3, 2018

A record low temperature was recorded in the German Alps, where the temperature reached minus-27 degrees Celsius, or minus-16 degrees Fahreneheit.

THE "Beast from the East" was a pest for the west as thousands of children were forced to miss school due to heavy snow.

AFP news agency reports a total death toll of at least 24 people in the past four days, adding that numerous deaths involved those sleeping rough in cities.

Countries across Europe shut schools and rushed to shelter homeless people Wednesday as a deadly blast of Siberian weather dubbed the "Beast from the East" kept the mercury far below zero.

In France, where temperatures were forecast to drop to minus 10 C and feel as low as minus 18 C over the coming days, fears ran high for people living on the streets.

In Romania, two people were found dead Tuesday, including an 83-year-old who woman was discovered collapsed in the snow. "We probably haven't seen it this cold or disruptive since March 2013".

A spokesperson for the weather agency said: "Snow showers or longer periods of snow are expected, accompanied by very low temperatures".

Beast from the east chills Europe

As the cold becomes progressively more brutal, local authorities are scrambling to find shelters for the homeless.

"It's the coldest air we have seen over the United Kingdom at this time of the year since around 1991", Becky Mitchell, a Met Office meteorologist said.

Etterbeek mayor Vincent De Wolf said the cold was a "major risk", stressing that it was his responsibility to avoid potential deaths with temperatures set to drop to minus 15 deg C on Wednesday night.

The "Beast from the East", as the phenomenon has been dubbed by the British media, is expected to bring chilling winds from Russian Federation over the next week that will make it feel even colder than thermometers indicate.

In Ireland, anxious residents were hoarding bread and milk as they braced for Thursday's arrival of a storm expected to bring the heaviest snowfall in decades.

"Parts of England and Wales are likely to see their coldest spell of weather since at least 2013 - perhaps 1991", said the Met Office's chief forecaster Frank Saunders.

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