Cold, Colder, Coldest?

8th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Across Belgium temperatures plummeted to exceptional lows for the second night in a row.

Temperatures again plummeted last night. East of Brussels and Antwerp temperatures fell to a spectacular minus 21 degrees Celsius.

Across the country temperatures plummeted to exceptional lows for the second night in a row. At the Royal Meteorological Institute in the Brussels borough of Ukkel it was minus 10 degrees Celsius at 10 PM on Tuesday.

Even at the Royal Palace in Brussels the heating had to be put up a degree or two.

The east of the country was worst affected.

At the military airbase at Kleine Brogel in Limburg the temperature fell to minus 15.7. Elsewhere in the province at Retie (Antwerp) it was minus 16.6.

Later in the night a low of minus 21 was recorded at Diepenbeek (Limburg).

The coldest temperature in Belgium was recorded at Ernage in Namur province: minus 21.9.

It's over ten years since such cold temperatures have been registered in Belgium. No records have yet been broken though. In January 1940 a temperature of minus 30 was recorded.

Woes on the rail network

The snow and cold led to a raft of problems on the rail network on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday ruptured overhead cables outside Leuven (Flemish Brabant) made all rail traffic impossible in that part of the country.

Belgian rail spokesman Frédéric Petit told VRT that his people had been working through the night, but a few delays were still expected. By 9 a.m. three-quarters of the tracks could be used once again.

Elsewhere a number of services had to be cancelled as a result of problems caused by the cold weather.

Petit urged people to change trains if necessary. He added: ”Many services are making extra stops to get everybody to their destination, but this is leading to some delays."

Diesel freezes in cars

Many cars coukdn't 't start because the diesel had frozen.

The motoring associations received 3,000 calls from stranded drivers on Tuesday
Most of the problems occurred in Wallonia, but in the coldest Flemish areas, Limburg and Flemish Brabant, many motorists had to call in an expert too.

Homeless in need

The extreme cold is also causing hardship for people living out on the streets. In Brussels alone there are some 2,500 homeless.

Many homeless go to the North Station to get out of the cold, but they are forced to leave around midnight.

Voluntary organisations like Casu try to help out by handing out blankets and clothes.


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