55 dead as extreme winter storm blasts Europe

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The Roman Forum is seen during a heavy snowfall early in the morning in Rome, Italy. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Large portions of Europe continue to experience freak winter conditions as cold weather from Siberia envelopes the continent, bringing chaos and as many as 55 deaths from weather-related incidents.

The casualties from the various weather-related incidents were reported from as far south as Spain and Italy. Slovakia has recorded seven fatalities, while six were killed in the Czech Republic due to incidents caused by the harsh weather conditions.

Five fatalities were reported in Lithuania, four in France, and three in Spain. Two each were killed in Serbia, Italy, Slovenia, and Romania, while the United Kingdom and the Netherlands each recorded one casualty.

The French capital of Paris has set up emergency shelters to help protect its over 3,000 homeless population from the winter storm.

Ireland and parts of southern England are still bracing for the arrival of Storm Emma, which is moving north from Portugal and France. Ukraine, meanwhile, also has a forecast of snowstorms in the days to come.

The extreme weather system has been given various nicknames in different European countries. In U.K., it is known as the Beast from the East. In the Netherlands, it is called the Siberian bear, while the Swedes call it the snow cannon.

The winter storm has caused temperatures all over Europe to plummet, with some areas having even colder temperatures compared to the Arctic Circle. According to scientists, the likely cause of the freak winter storm is climate change.

The record chill has interrupted countless flights in various airports, while the rail network in London and the wider United Kingdom has also experienced significant delays due to the unusually chilly weather.

In Rome, residents enjoyed the snow and were seen skiing and sledding on it. In Amsterdam, the canals and waterways become frozen for the first time since 2012, and brave residents took advantage and skated on the frozen streams.