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  1. ITV Report

At least 12 dead as heavy snowfall hits Europe

Heavy snowfall in Bratislava, Slovakia. Credit: AP

Deadly winter weather has blasted Europe for another day, trapping hundreds of people in Alpine regions, whipping up high winds which raise the risks of more deadly avalanches.

At least 12 people have been killed in weather-related accidents in Europe over the last week, most of them from avalanches.

In Norway, attempts to find the bodies of four skiers were again put on hold due to poor visibility and heavy snowfall.

A 29-year-old Swedish woman and three Finns, aged 29, 32 and 36, were presumed dead after a 990ft wide avalanche hit a valley near the northern city of Tromso last week.

Search crews in Tamokdalen, northern Norway. Credit: AP

In Austria, hundreds of residents were stuck in their homes due to blocked roads and some regions experienced power outages after snow-laden trees took down power lines.

Schools in some regions remained closed for a second day and homeowners were advised to remove snow from their roofs after several buildings collapsed.

A 78-year-old man was severely injured when he fell of the roof of his home in Turrach while shovelling snow, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported.

On Monday night, 11 German hikers had to be rescued by mountaineers from a cabin near Salzburg after getting snowed in without electricity and little food since Friday.

Heavy snowfall in Slovakia has caused many road accidents. Credit: AP

People have also been killed by avalanches in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and authorities warned continuing snowfall is increasing the already high risk of more avalanches.

In the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol Airport warned of delays and cancellations on Tuesday.

Dutch carrier KLM cancelled 159 flights to and from European destinations.

Low-lying north-western coastal regions were being hit by strong winds and wild seas, and local water authorities were checking dikes to make sure they were not damaged.

A Greek Orthodox priest at Penteli Monastery in northern Athens. Credit: AP

Further south, heavy snowfall also disrupted traffic across Slovakia, leading to some flight cancellations at Bratislava’s international airport.

In Greece, schools in Athens and many surrounding areas remained closed after snow blanketed the capital and temperatures in some parts of the Mediterranean nation plunged well below freezing.

Dozens of refugees housed in tents in a camp in northern Greece protested about living conditions as temperatures sunk to minus 20C in some areas.