London Heathrow Airport cancels a third of flights amid winter storm


London Heathrow Airport, normally the world's busiest, has canceled 30 percent of flights in the wake of heavy snowfall and severe weather warnings.

Similar disruptions in air traffic had been reported across Europe, including the Netherlands and Italy, caused by the severe winter storms, the Press Trust of India reported.

The cancelations revived memories of the 2010 end-of-year holiday period, when heavy snow and freezing temperatures paralyzed large parts of Europe, with tens of thousands of passengers left stranded by flight cancelations in London, Paris and Frankfurt.

(GlobalPost reports: Many travelers in Europe cancel Christmas)

In the latest freeze, temperatures have fallen as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit, killing hundreds of people — more than 100 of them in Ukraine.

(GlobalPost reports: Europe's cold snap kills hundreds, affects transport, tourism)

The death toll stood at more than 260, Agence France Press reported, with deaths reported in in Bosnia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, France, Austria and Greece.

Meanwhile, Russian gas giant Gazprom said it could not fulfill the energy demands of Western Europe for the time being.

"Gazprom at the moment cannot satisfy the additional volumes that our Western European partners are requesting," AFP quoted the company's deputy chairman Alexander Kruglov as saying at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Back in the UK, the winter storm was blamed for closing the London Underground's central Jubilee Line, and parts of other lines. Much of the train network runs above ground.

Most of Britain was on amber alert, the Met Office's second-highest severe weather warning, according to Agence France-Presse.

Up to 4 inches of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours, the BBC reported.

However, the national weather service said that snowfalls would ease over London and southeast England early on Sunday, AFP reported.

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