Heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures continued to sweep across the European continent Saturday causing at least 20 deaths, and grounding airplanes and crippling ferries in Italy and Turkey.
At least 10 people have died of the cold in Poland in the past days, according to officials which said they included seven men aged between 41 and 66 who died on Friday. A 51-year-old died of asphyxiation with carbon monoxide from a malfunctioning heater.
Temperatures there dropped below -20 degrees Celsius (-4 F) on Saturday and weather forecasts said it would drop further during the night.
In Belgium, one man died Saturday when his lorry slid off the highway.
In Italy in the past 48 hours the cold has been blamed for seven deaths, including five homeless people, two of them Polish nationals, authorities said.
There was heavy snowfall in central Italy and also in the southeast where the airports at Bari and Brindisi as well as in Sicily were closed Saturday morning.
Temperatures in Moscow fell to minus 30 degrees overnight and to minus 24 in Saint Petersburg where police found the body of a man who had died of hypothermia.
And in Bulgaria on Friday the frozen bodies of two Iraqi migrants were discovered by villagers in a mountain forest in the southeast of the country near the border with Turkey.
Authorities expect the toll to rise as weather conditions are set to remain unchanged this weekend.
The winter snow storms reached also Turkey, paralyzing its biggest city Istanbul where hundreds of flights were cancelled on Saturday. Traffic through the Bosphorus strait was also disrupted.
Greece likewise has seen fierce cold weather this past week. In the north near the Turkish frontier a 20-year-old Afghan migrant died of the cold on Tuesday.
With more than 60,000 mainly Syrian refugees on its territory, Greece has moved many migrants to prefabricated houses and heated tents.
The temperature in Athens on Saturday was zero degrees Celsius and down to minus 15 in the north of the country.
Britain bypassed the cold and snow, sporting its usual gray cloudy skies and temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
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