Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Snow-trapped drivers saved in Germany by police

Cars stuck in snow drifts in Soehlen, northern Germany
Roads were blocked on Sunday by snow and drifts caused by high winds

Some 160 drivers who had been trapped for hours in 2m (78in) snow drifts in north-east Germany have been rescued.

They had become trapped on Sunday when blizzard conditions brought the A20 motorway to a standstill, and had to run their car engines to keep warm.

The snow, which has blanketed the country for days, blocked off villages and clogged road links to France.

Many people were stranded at airports as weekend flights were cancelled, and rail and ferry services were cut.

The weekend's heavy snowfall was exacerbated by gale-force winds in parts of Germany, with Leipzig and Berlin both under 30cm of snow.

Germans had been advised to stock up on enough essential supplies to last up to four days and to equip themselves with a battery-powered radio to hear weather reports.

Transport havoc

Although conditions appeared to be easing on Monday, forecasters have warned of more snowfall and schools in certain areas remain closed.

Frankfurt airport runway (9 Jan 2010)

Freezing weather conditions have caused transport havoc across Europe since last week.

In the UK, which is suffering its worst winter for decades, thousands of tonnes of emergency gritting salt were sent to the worst affected areas.

In Poland, where 140 people have frozen to death in recent weeks, some 80,000 people were left without electricity as snow damaged power lines over the weekend.

About 3,000 homes in south-eastern France were without power for a second day on Sunday.

Three people died in the Netherlands, four in Belgium and four in the Czech Republic after traffic accidents caused by icy roads over the weekend.

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