Some of the most unpleasant weather in nearly 30 years forced Britain to involve the army, as Ireland was forced shut by snowstorms on Friday.
Arriving from the south, Storm Emma caused havoc in Ireland and Southern Britain as roads were blocked, trains were stopped and planes were grounded in the regions. The storm was preceded by a Siberian cold that was so fierce it was named “the beast from the east”.
Even Scotland was affected as the country, along with Ireland, experienced overnight blizzards causing three feet (90 cm) deep snow heaps. The Irish government announced the roads to be immensely dangerous, and was forced to close their airports as all the public transports were rendered useless. There were power outages as well, as the storm resulted in over 100,000 homes and business losing power. A Red weather alert remained throughout Ireland as schools, government offices and the stock exchange remained shut.
Simon Coveney, Deputy Prime Minister, said that it was vital that the country remained in hibernation and that he hoped to avoid tragedies in such harsh atmospheric conditions.
Elsewhere in Britain, a car was involved in an accident, as the icy conditions caused it to crash into a house, leaving a seven-year old girl dead. The weather also forced passengers to spend the night, as they were left stranded on trains in the southern region of England. The army was involved as it helped rescue hundreds of people that were stuck in the snow and transported workers from National Health Services.
Authorities in Scotland as well, advised the people not to travel on Friday and during the weekend. The conditions have improved there since it was on the receiving end of the Siberian cold. They also called upon residents near the Scottish border area to clear out roads. Drivers had been left stranded in the snow, thus the volunteers used tractors to restore the roads. Around 30 such vehicles were reported to be stuck near Aberdeen, according the local council.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, expressed her gratitude to the people, and lauded them for keeping the people safe. She was grateful that people were making the extra effort in such bad weather conditions.
The social media across the British Isles, however, was critical of the efforts of the government. Images of near misses of people slipping and cars being abandoned were shared in abundance, as the people mocked the authorities for their failures in controlling the situation. Improvised sleds made from baking trays and bathtubs were plentiful in Dublin, as the city experienced its first major snowfall since 2010. This also meant that people wanted to stockpile on food, and as a result bread shelves were emptied across the capital.
Southern Europe was also disrupted by the snow and icy conditions, as crucial sections of the major highways were forced to close in Italy. Emilia-Romagna and Liguria were the regions affected as railways were rendered useless as well. Three major cities: Genoa, Milan and Turin suffered from long delays in the railway services.