Balkan villages sealed off by heavy snowfalls

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MONTENEGRO: Authorities say the heaviest snow in 63 years has sealed off hundreds of villages, shut roads and closed the main airport in the Balkan state of Montenegro.

State rail company officials said yesterday that a local train was stopped near the mountain town of Kolasin by an avalanche that landed on the tracks. Another train was being sent to rescue the 50 passengers, who will have to walk around the blockage. Snow has virtually sealed off the capital Podgorica, closing its airport and hampering rail and road traffic.

The cold snap in Europe, which began in late January, has killed hundreds of people – most of them homeless – and has affected most of the continental area. Ski resorts have had record snowfalls.