Snow in Serbia prompts rescue of 1,000 people stuck in cars, buses
Snow drifts as high as 3.5 m in some areas
Rescuers, army and police have evacuated about 1,000 people from cars and buses stranded in deep snow in northern Serbia, but several hundred people still remain stuck, the government said Saturday.
Authorities have closed down snow-hit roads and banned river traffic on the Danube river because of strong winds, said the government statement.
"The Serbian government is urging citizens not to travel until all danger is fully removed," the statement added.
Winter so far in Serbia had been exceptionally mild, but over the last week a cold spell and snowstorms have swept across parts of central and eastern Europe. Heavy snow in Bulgaria left dozens of villages without electricity and water and Romanian authorities declared a "code red" weather warning on Wednesday.
Emergency officials in Serbia reported that dozens of cars and two passenger trains remain stranded in the country's north, flat area where strong winds have been piling up snow drifts, cutting off villages and roads.
Snow drifts in places are 3.5 metres high, prompting authorities to close the main border crossing with Hungary.
The state railway company said it would evacuate several dozen passengers stranded on two trains going to and from Hungary that were stuck because of snow on the tracks.