Two fatalities reported in Finland avalanche amidst severe cold engulfing Nordic nations.

Rescue operations are underway in Sweden to free individuals trapped in approximately 1,000 vehicles due to heavy snowfall and extremely cold temperatures. Meanwhile, in Finnish Lapland, a mother and child tragically lost their lives in an avalanche amidst the ongoing freezing conditions in the Nordic countries.
According to authorities, the child’s body was discovered lifeless in Pyhäkuru in northern Finland on Thursday morning. This was close to the location where the mother had been found on Tuesday after being caught in the avalanche during a skiing expedition.
Kirsi Huhtamäki, the lead investigator, commented, “The exact sequence of events following the emergency call remains unclear, but the combination of severe weather conditions and an avalanche appears to have resulted in this sad and uncommon accident.”
In Sweden, where historically low temperatures have been recorded this week, rescue services and the army are currently working diligently to rescue passengers trapped overnight in about 1,000 cars due to a snowstorm in the southern part of the country. The affected road, specifically the E22 between Hörby and Kristianstad, is anticipated to remain closed until Friday morning. Kristianstad’s rescue services explained, “The road stretches for about 3 miles; cars and trucks need to be removed, and the road has to be cleared of snow before it can be reopened for traffic.”
In northern Sweden, temperatures plummeted to below -40C for the second day in a row on Wednesday. The area of Kvikkjokk-Årrenjarka in Swedish Lapland experienced a record low of -43.6C on Tuesday night, marking the coldest January temperature in the country in the past 25 years.
As a result of this extreme cold snap, transport has been disrupted, schools have been closed, and strong winds and heavy rainfall in Western Europe have led to flooding and even one fatality.
In Denmark, police strongly advised motorists to avoid any unnecessary trips as the northern and western parts of the country were hit by wind and snow.
The wave of frigid air originating from Siberia and the Arctic has also made its way to western Russia, causing temperatures in Moscow and other regions to plummet to -30C. This is well below the average temperature for early January. Consequently, officials in Moscow, St Petersburg, and other areas have issued orange weather warnings, alerting residents to potential health risks.
However, milder but wet and windy conditions prevail in southern regions, where a storm named Henk has wreaked havoc in various parts of Western Europe. In the UK, for instance, a driver tragically lost his life on Tuesday when a tree fell on his car in western England. The storm’s impact resulted in power outages, transportation issues, property damage, and disruptions across the UK.
Furthermore, heavy rain since Sunday in the northern regions of Pas-de-Calais and Nord in France has led to the evacuation of approximately 200 individuals and power failures affecting 10,000 households, as reported by local authorities. In Blendecques, roads have transformed into waterways, prompting authorities to instruct residents in flood-prone areas to limit their movements until water levels recede.
Efforts to rescue affected individuals and clear blocked roads have involved numerous emergency workers from various regions of France. Additional personnel and equipment were dispatched from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Netherlands to aid in these operations. Powerful pumps have been deployed to redirect up to 60,000 cubic meters of water from the most severely impacted towns towards the Channel, thereby lowering water levels around the Aa River delta, according to a statement from the regional prefecture.
On Thursday, the national weather service issued flood and wind warnings for multiple regions in northern France, as well as the bordering areas of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, with further rainfall and winds of up to 100kph in the forecast.
Parts of Germany are also grappling with flooding, and the situation may worsen with additional rainfall in the heavily affected northwestern state of Lower Saxony.

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