The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 03/15/2013 7:32 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 03/15/2013 1:34 PM
BUDAPEST, Hungary - A snowstorm in Hungary brought drifts 10 feet (3 metres) high and violent gusts of wind, forcing thousands of people to spend the night in their cars or in emergency shelters after being stranded on a major highway.
Rescue officials said wind gusts up to 100 kph (62 mph) caused trucks to jackknife across the key M1 highway between Budapest and Vienna — the capitals of Hungary and Austria — leading to the traffic jams. On Friday, rescue workers cut across guardrails to let vehicles leave the jammed highway on makeshift side roads.
Over 100 people were injured in traffic and snow-related accidents, the Hungarian Disaster Management Agency said, adding that 5,700 cars were stranded on the roads and 18 trains were stuck between stations.
Snowdrifts up to 3 metres (10 feet) high and the violent gusts of wind brought many major roads across the country to a standstill. The storm also left more than 100,000 people without electricity.
More than 8,000 people had to take refuge in heated buildings set up by the disaster agency for stranded travellers.
Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said police and rescue units were called in, along with military vehicles with caterpillar treads.
The weather prompted the government and several opposition parties to cancel outdoor festivities for Friday's national holiday commemorating Hungary's 1848 revolution against the Habsburgs.
In neighbouring Serbia and south across Montenegro, melting snow caused rivers to burst their banks and flood some villages.
In Slovakia, just north of Hungary, some schools in the eastern part of the country were closed because of heavy snowfall, and the Cunovo-Rajka border crossing between the two countries was closed to trucks. Slovakia also banned trucks going from the Czech Republic to Hungary through its territory. Around 20,000 households were without electricity in eastern Slovakia after high winds damaged the grid.
About 300 Slovak soldiers were deployed to help authorities cope.
To the south in Kosovo, authorities said an 8-year old girl drowned when a river burst its banks and swept her downriver. Heavy rains caused flooding that stranded dozens of people and prompted emergency rescues.
Karel Janicek in Prague, Dusan Stojanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, and Nebi Qena in Kosovo contributed to this report.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Turbulence at the track
PM promotes tough on crime drive in Winnipeg address
Willis guilty of first-degree murder
Sales pitch to hockey players a lot easier, says Jets GM
Provincial govt. puts off balanced budget until 2018
Key of Bart - Four Little Games
Winnipeg woman 2nd in Manitoba to contract measles
The Jets are Winnipeg’s tribal totem
NDP’s deficit-funded election run
Accused in storage locker infants case released on bail
Glorious sporting past on display at WAG's Olympus exhibition
Vote against merger due to intolerance to LGBT community surprises credit union CEO
What lies behind mystery Calgary ad?
Jets GM enthusiastic about team, future
Deception gives depth to domestic comedy
Jets captain suffering from hernia, Trouba from a broken bone in hand
NHL commish doesn't think 'Katy Perry' chants are sexist
City warns of transit delays as labour negotiations with union heat up
Top 5: Famous facts about the Stanley Cup
Planned power outage expected Thursday for 570 residents in west Whiteshell area
Concerns brought forward about concrete at football stadium says contractor
Jury deliberations could push into the weekend in Kaila Tran murder case
Supreme Court denies Labossière appeal
Protecting kids good politics, but it's much deeper than that for Harpers
Feds to appeal after Omar Khadr wins bail
Dismal season takes toll on Maple Leafs' brand
Diagnostic lab tests suffer from delays in northern Manitoba inquest told
Senate had time for cops, not Duffy: lawyer
Demski drops to ninth on CFL draft rankings
WWE ringing in July at the MTS Centre
Fred & Toody to play WECC June 9
Winpak's net earnings soar 39 per cent in first quarter
Hopes grow for grain farmers
Sawyer Sweeten of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' dies at 19
Harper scores with Jets
Yes, it really is a weather balloon
Get ready for warmer weather
WAG welcomes Olympus exhibit
Police auctioning off recovered bikes this weekend
Harper plans to hold on to his seats