'Beast from the East' sends Europe mercury plummeting

'Beast from the East' sends Europe mercury plummeting

The chill paralysed most of the country, with the harshest temperatures recorded in Valle d'Aosta in north-west Italy, where a low of minus 34.9 Celsius was recorded early Monday morning.

The so-called "Beast from the East" had much of the United Kingdom in its icy grasp this morning as overnight temperatures plummeted to minus 12 in some places.

Three people in Lithuania have also died due to exposure over the past three days, the Baltic News Service (BNS) reported, as weekend temperatures plunged to minus 24 degrees Celsius (minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit).

Europe is now being buffeted by "The Beast from the East" - the name given to the cold weather system that's blown in from Siberia.

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At least three people were killed in a auto crash in Lincolnshire, a county in eastern England, and at least two people were found dead in Romania, one of them an 83-year-old woman who was discovered collapsed in the snow.

On Wednesday, there's more snow and more of a windchill - bringing a unbearable cold feel we're not used to.

The cold spell, nicknamed "the Beast from the East" in the United Kingdom, is carrying freezing winds across the continent, and temperatures as low as -30°C.

Much of Europe has been blanketed in snow as cold weather spreads as far south as the Mediterranean coast.

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France has opened up extra emergency shelters for the homeless, and in Calais in northern France, about 200 migrants were spared the cold on Saturday night.

In Belgium, one local mayor has warned homeless people they will be detained by police if they refuse to go to shelters.

The UK Met Office has issued "Amber" weather warnings for snow on Tuesday, which is the highest category of warning, as a low pressure system moving from east to west is expected to bring heavy snow squalls to areas near Newcastle.

Berlin is also expected to see temperatures of -20, while Britain is suffering its coldest spell since 1991, according to the Met Office.

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Ireland, bracing for the biggest snowfall since 1982, urged people to stay indoors from 1600 GMT on Thursday until 1200 on Friday in the southern province of Munster and eastern province of Leinster when the most severe weather is expected.

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