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Eastern European Weather Disrupts Transport, Leaves People Dead

Severe winter weather has continued to affect the Czech Republic, closing airports overnight and forcing other public transport to operate limited services amid freezing temperatures that left at least nine people dead in the Czech Republic and Poland.

At Prague’s international airport, Letiste Praha AS, about 40 flights were canceled during an overnight closure that ended at 5 a.m. today, spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said by phone, adding that some flights may still be affected. Ten flights were canceled in Warsaw and three in Poznan, the western Polish city where 23 centimeters of snow fell overnight, TVN 24 reported.

Transportation in Prague and train services across the country remain limited. Heavy snowfall caused accidents and closures on the main highways connecting the capital with Brno, the second-largest Czech city, and Pilsen.

At least one person was found dead last night because of the freezing weather in the Czech Republic and eight people in Poland, CTK reported.

Temperatures may drop to as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit) tonight in some parts of the country, Czech Hydrometeorological Institute spokesman Petr Dvorak said by phone. They will rise to about zero degrees Celsius next week, he said.

In Poland, eight hundred people were left without heating in the southern city of Gliwice, while Bydgoszcz and Krakow offered free public transportation in an attempt to ease congestion, TVN 24 channel said.

Some parts of Prague had about 11 centimeters of new snow in the last 24 hours, Dvorak said. Around the Ruzyne neighborhood, where the airport is located, the snow is as deep as 29 centimeters, he said.

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