Geneva, March 1 (IANS) A persistent blizzard on Thursday saw Geneva waking up to snowed-in streets, stranded buses, delays in the transport system and the closure of the city’s airport, according to Switzerland’s federal weather office.
The snow storm began after midnight, growing in intensity by dawn and showed no sign of abating, said federal weather office MeteoSwiss.
The weather office said Geneva’s region was under a level 3 warning for snowfall and considerable danger, adding it was “very overcast with frequent sleet and temperatures ranging between -4 and 0 degrees Celsius”.
The result has been a large accumulation of snow on the roads, railways and tramlines, Efe news reported.
The airport remained closed and would remain so in the next hours due to heavy snow on its runways. On local roads and nearby highways, there were a large number of accidents due to skidding vehicles.
First responders had to intervene in dozens of incidents due to blocked streets and jack-knifed public transport, while whole districts saw traffic grind to a complete halt.
Fire services also had to deal with ruptured water pipes due to the city having endured freezing temperatures for over a week. The City Hall instructed shelters to remain open all day so that the homeless population does not remain outside in the snow.