Snowfall disrupts traffic in Finland’s capital Helsinki

Helsinki, April 24 (IANS) Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall struck Finland’s capital Helsinki, disrupting commuter traffic, tram operations, and flight schedules.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute reported that between Monday morning and Tuesday morning, 10 to 20 cm of snow fell in the southern and southwestern parts of the country.

Matti Huutonen, a meteorologist at the Finnish national broadcaster Yle, noted that the temperature in southern Finland has dropped to a freezing point, starkly contrasting the typical springtime temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius or higher.

The Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL) announced the complete shutdown of the city’s tram network due to freezing rain and snow accumulation, which caused overhead power lines to ice up and obstruct points along various network locations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Consequently, many HSL bus services experienced delays or cancellations, and some commuter trains operated on reduced service. The Finnish Meteorological Institute described the conditions as “very bad”.

Johannes Laitila, HSL’s media spokesman, highlighted the unprecedented nature of the situation, noting that icy rain had blocked overhead electric wire lines, compounding the challenges posed by heavy snowfall.

Meanwhile, Finnish airport operator Finavia reported flight delays and cancellations due to the adverse weather conditions.

In addition to Helsinki, other cities in southern Finland, including Turku, experienced disruptions in bus services due to a snowstorm on Tuesday morning. Some buses veered off roads and ended up in ditches, reported Yle.

Despite the disruptions, tram services in the capital region gradually resumed on Tuesday afternoon, according to the latest information provided by HSL.



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