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Britain, France hit by new snow as Europe freeze continues

A snowstorm in Britain caused flight cancellations, major delays to trains and traffic jams. NBC's Charlotte Grants reports.

Bitterly cold weather sweeping across Europe claimed more victims on Sunday and brought widespread disruption to transport services, with warnings that the chilling temperatures would remain into next week.

At least 200 people have lost their lives as freezing weather sweeps across the continent westwards, while airports in Britain and France saw disruptions from new snow.


Below's a look by country:

Great Britain
In England, snowfall late on Saturday left roads were left impassable, and sections of motorways were brought to a standstill, forcing some divers to abandon their vehicles.

Some of London's famous landmarks were coated in snow, while fountains in Trafalgar Square were frozen solid.

Steven Keates, a weather forecaster at Britain's Met Office, said the severe wintry conditions were expected to last, and spread to other areas.

"It will still be very cold, maybe not quite the exceptional temperatures we've seen this last week, but still very cold," he told Reuters, saying the current front that brought snow and ice to Britain overnight was now heading to Belgium and Germany.

The harsh weather conditions that are being blamed for scores of deaths are expected to continue into next week. NBC's Kier Simmons reports.

"(It will be) perhaps turning increasingly unsettled across southern and eastern Europe, so that will probably bring a risk of snow for Italy across to Greece and up round the Balkan countries."

London's Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, said it would run just 70 percent of normal services on Sunday as more than 6 inches of snow fell in parts of England overnight and temperatures dropped well below freezing.

London's Gatwick Airport said it would be running all scheduled flights. However, many of Britain's other airports were forced to shut runways overnight and warned there could be further disruption on Sunday.

France
The first winter snow in Paris fell overnight, coating the Eiffel Tower, and more snow was forecast throughout Sunday. The French capital's main airports were also expecting problems and advised passengers to check with the airlines before travelling.

Meanwhile the death toll rose to four, after a 12-year old boy died of hypothermia on Saturday after falling into a frozen pond in eastern France and a homeless person was found dead in the northeast.

Italy
Pope Benedict XVI donned an overcoat to bless the few pilgrims who braved Rome's unusually cold weather to visit St. Peter's Square. "The snow is beautiful, but let's hope spring comes soon," the pope told the pilgrims, looking out over remnants of Rome's biggest snowstorm since 1986.

Meanwhile, about 86,000 Italians were left without power because of trees falling on power lines.

The deaths of 13 people were blamed on the bad weather, Italian police said, including three men who died of heart attacks while shoveling snow.

Two highways in central Italy that cross the Apenines remained closed, while in Rome, schools and public offices are to remain closed until at least Tuesday, Mayor Gianni Alemanno said.

He urged people to get out and clean sidewalks, and said the city had handed out 2,350 free shovels.

Rome's mayor was criticized for the lack of snow plows and salters. But the city counters that it can't spend millions of dollars on equipment that might not be used in decades.

Bosnia
Helicopters on Sunday evacuated the sick and delivered food to thousands of people left stranded by Bosnia's heaviest snowfall on record.

Some 100 villages have been cut off and the capital Sarajevo is struggling with more than three feet of snow.

Serbia
Some 70,000 people remain cut off by the snow and freeze.

Croatia
In the coastal town of Split, where authorities declared emergency measures, dozens of people sought medical help for injuries sustained on ice and snow. Snow is extremely rare in Split, which is on the Adriatic coast.

Ukraine
Nine more deaths from cold were registered in Ukraine overnight, emergencies services said on Sunday, taking the death toll to 131 from a nine-day cold spell which has brought freezing temperatures to the ex-Soviet republic.

A statement from the Emergencies Ministry said 1,800 people were receiving hospital treatment for cold-related ailments.

The cold spell -- the most severe for Ukraine in six years with night temperatures down as low as minus 27 Fahrenheit in parts -- has tested the country's social network to its limits.

PHOTOBLOG: More images from Europe's deep freeze

Many of the dead were homeless people with bodies being found in the streets under snow, in rivers and in doorways. Metro stations in the capital Kiev have become sanctuaries overnight for the homeless to find warmth.

More than 3,000 heated tents have been set up around the country to provide makeshift accommodation and dispense food and drinks to homeless people.

Poland
Eight more people had frozen to death over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll there to 53 since the cold snap began, PAP news agency reported National Police Headquarters as saying.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has now asked local authorities to waive the ban on admitting inebriated individuals to homeless shelters.

Reuters, The Associated Press and msnbc.com's Alastair Jamieson contributed to this report.