Icy storm lashes France, Germany

Paris, Jan 13 (IANS) An icy storm lashed parts of western Europe, causing power cuts and disrupting rail services.

According to the BBC, in France power cuts affected more than 237,000 homes as the storm swept across Normandy and regions north of Paris.

The storm, nicknamed “Egon”, later hit southern Germany – mainly Rhineland-Palatinate and northern Bavaria. Power cuts and traffic jams were widespread.

Emergency teams were out in force during the night in France and Germany.

A woman died in Saint-Jeannet, in south-eastern France, when a tree toppled over and crushed her. Schools and colleges cancelled classes in some parts of France.

Drivers were warned of treacherous conditions on some German roads, because of snow and black ice.

According to a German news network, one man in northern Schleswig-Holstein state died in an accident, most likely due to slippery roads.

The cold snap across Europe has claimed more than 65 lives till now.

Poland and much of south-eastern Europe, including Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and western Turkey, were in the grip of heavy snow and freezing cold, BBC reported.

The wind and snow in Germany forced Lufthansa to cancel 125 flights at Frankfurt.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn also set a 200 km per hour speed limit on high-speed rains, causing some travel delays.