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Last Updated Tuesday August 21 2018 08:01 PM IST

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals | Pics

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Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals Cars sit covered in snow at an Audi dealership in Lincoln, Britain, March 1, 2018. Reuters

Dublin/Edinburgh: Snowstorms shut most of Ireland on Friday and forced Britain to call in the army to help battle some of the worst weather seen for nearly 30 years.

After a blast of Siberian cold dubbed "the beast from the east", southern Britain and Ireland were battered by Storm Emma that arrived from the south and blocked roads, grounded planes and stopped trains.

Overnight blizzards left snow drifts up to three feet (90 cm) deep across Ireland and Scotland. The storm knocked out Ireland's entire public transport network, closing its airports and leaving roads "extremely dangerous," the government said.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals People look on after helping a car stuck in the snow in in Dublin, Ireland. Reuters

At the peak of the storm, over 100,000 homes and businesses were left without power. On Friday the Irish stock exchange was shut, as were all schools and most government offices as a status Red weather alert remained across most of Ireland.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals Commuters walk on the main road after all public transport was cancelled, due to adverse weather conditions in Dublin, Ireland. Reuters

"The country needs to more or less stay in hibernation today," deputy prime minister Simon Coveney told state broadcaster RTE. "Hopefully we can continue to get through these freak weather conditions without tragedy."

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals A van travels through snow in Rochdale, Britain. Reuters

In Britain, a seven-year-old girl was killed in the far southwestern county of Cornwall after a car crashed into a house in icy conditions, the BBC reported. Dozens of passengers were stranded on trains overnight in southern England.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals A dog runs in the snow in Dublin, Ireland. Reuters

The army was summoned to help rescue hundreds of drivers stuck in the snow and to transport National Health Service workers. Roads and schools were closed and many flights cancelled across Britain.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals People walk past the Tower of London during freezing temperatures, in London, Britain. Reuters

Weather conditions in Scotland, which initially bore the brunt of the Siberian cold front, improved slightly, but the authorities warned people not to travel on Friday and during the weekend.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals People walk past a partially frozen waterfall in Bradgate Park in Newtown Linford, Britain. Reuters

Digging Out Snowbound Roads

Around 30 vehicles were stuck on a road near Aberdeen, the local council said, with many other roads closed due to snow drifts. Residents of the Scottish border area were asked to help dig out roads where a number of motorists were stranded. Care workers in rural areas were moving around in tractors.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals People walk past the Tower of London during freezing temperatures, in London, Britain. Reuters

"In the current bad weather, I want to say thank you to everyone going the extra mile to keep our country moving - and to keep us safe," British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals The main high street in the village of St Florence is used as a sledging slope after Storm Emma and heavy snowfall hit the area, in West Wales. Reuters

Airbus said its Filton plant in Bristol, which helps make wings for passenger jets, was closed on Friday due to the heavy weather.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals The main high street in the village of St Florence is used as a sledging slope after Storm Emma and heavy snowfall hit the area, in West Wales. Reuters

Audit firm PwC estimated that the cost of insurance claims by consumers and businesses in United Kingdom to date as a result of the severe weather was at least 15 million pounds, though it was too early to forecast the final bill.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals The A53 Buxton Road is closed due to heavy snow fall, near Leek, Britain. Reuters

"We have already had over 8,000 road accidents in the past three days and this could increase significantly with more snow set to fall today," said Mohammad Khan, head of PwC's general insurance business in Britain.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals A man places snow chains on his tyres in Leek, Britain. Reuters

Social media across the British Isles was dominated by the weather, as some mocked the authorities' struggles to manage the snowfall while others showed near misses on slippery roads and people abandoning their cars.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals A worker uses a shovel to clear snow from a car park, in Birmingham, Britain. Reuters

In Dublin, which last saw a major snowfall in 2010, videos posted on social media showed people used bathtubs and baking trays as improvised sleds. Panic-buying of bread left shelves empty across the capital.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals A man runs through the snow with his husky dog at the Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland. Reuters

Snow and icy conditions continued to cause disruption in southern Europe too. In the Liguria and Emilia-Romagna regions of northern Italy, the weather forced the closure of key sections of major highways and paralysed rail traffic.

Snowstorms shut down Ireland, Britain calls in army for hospitals The Dublin Airport is seen covered with snow, in Dublin, Ireland, March 1, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. Reuters

Train service between major cities such as Genoa and Milan and Genoa and Turin, the three points in Italy's north known as the industrial triangle, was either suspended or suffered from long delays because of ice.

Traffic on secondary, regional roads was backed up after vehicles were diverted onto them from closed highways.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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