Parts of Europe have been hit by bitterly cold temperatures and blizzards in recent days, causing at least five deaths, closing roads and resulting in traffic accidents, travel delays and medical evacuations. Temperatures in Germany plunged as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 13 Fahrenheit) after Storm Axel sucked in icy air from the Arctic.

The storm also led to flooding along Germany's Baltic Sea coast. At the other end of Germany, Bavaria saw heavy snowfall.

winter weather Europe
5 January 2017: A horse-drawn carriage makes its way on the snowy Rennsteig hiking path in Oberhof in the Thuringian Forest region, central GermanyMartin Schutt/AFP
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6 January 2017: Footprints in the snow lead to the Sankt Alban pilgrimage church near Aitrang, southern GermanyKarl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP
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3 January 2017: Sun rises over the snowy landscape near Amtzell, southern GermanyFelix Kästle/AFP
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6 January 2017: A boat sails on the Königssee lake in southern GermanySven Hoppe/AFP
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4 January 2017: Garden gnomes on a roof are covered in snow in Altenberg, eastern GermanySebastian Kahnert/AFP
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5 January 2017: Streetlamps are covered in snow and ice at the Feldberg mountain near Frankfurt, GermanyKai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
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5 January 2017: A snow-covered traffic sign is pictured near the Feldberg mountain outside Frankfurt, GermanyKai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
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6 January 2017: Cars covered with snow are pictured in Oberhof, southern GermanyMartin Schutt/AFP
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4 January 2017: Windscreen wipers sticking out from a snow-covered car in Oberstdorf, southern GermanyKarl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP
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4 January 2017: Snow covers a bridge on the Chiemsee lake near Prien, southern GermanyTobias Hase/AFP
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5 January 2017: A blackbird picks a rosehip from a snow-covered shrub in Dresden, eastern GermanyArno Burg/AFP
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6 January 2017: A cyclist casts a shadow on a thin dusting of snow as she pedals along a canal in Berlin´s NordhafenOdd Andersen/AFP
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4 January 2017: Ferries navigate through big waves on the Baltic Sea near Warnemeunde, north-eastern GermanyBernd Wüstneck/AFP
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5 January 2017: The tables and chairs at a street cafe in Stralsund, north-eastern Germany, are flooded after the German Baltic Sea coast was hit by Storm AxelStefan Sauer/AFP
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4 January 2017: Hamburg's fish market is flooded after Storm Axel led to a huge surge on the Baltic coastDaniel Reinhardt/AFP
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4 January 2017: Surfers ride a wave on the Eisbach canal during freezing conditions in Munich, southern GermanyMark Ralston/AFP

In Poland, the cold snap caused five deaths in 24 hours. Three people died from hypothermia while two people died from carbon-monoxide poisoning caused by malfunctioning heaters they used when the cold weather set in, the government Security Centre said. Temperatures dropped to minus 25C (minus 13F) on Friday in the southern mountainous region of Poland, with winds reaching 56mph.

Temperatures plummeted in large parts of France, with eastern areas seeing minus 10C or even minus 15C as a wave of freezing air from Scandinavia settled over the country. Sub-zero temperatures were also felt across much of western Europe, including the Netherlands and Britain.

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6 January 2017: A man swims in the frozen water of the Trocadero fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in ParisOlivier Morin/AFP
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6 January 2017: A man skates on a frozen canal in Noordlaren, the NetherlandsSiese Veenstra/AFP
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6 January 2017: Frost covers the branches of a tree in Belmont , eastern FranceFrederick Florin/AFP
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6 January 2017: An icy road sign is back dropped by frost-covered trees in Belmont, eastern FranceFrederick Florin/AFP
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6 January 2017: A man skis through a wintry landscape in Belmont, eastern FranceFrederick Florin/AFP
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3 January 2017: People skate and walk on a frozen pond in Ljubljana, SloveniaSrdjan Zivulovic/Reuters
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6 January 2017: A house is seen through a window covered in frost in Godewaersvede, north-eastern FrancePhilippe Huguen/AFP
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5 January 2017: Ducks stand on a frozen pond in Hede-Bazouges, western FranceDamien Meyer/AFP
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5 January 2017: A swimmer checks the ice covering part of the pool at Tooting Bec Lido, south-west London at sunrise on a freezing winter morningJustin Tallis/AFP

In Romania, one of the worst-affected areas, authorities said main highways in the south and east were made impassable due to the heavy snow. More than 40 trains were not running due to snow on the track.

Heavy snow and strong winds disrupted traffic in southern Serbia and snow piled up to two metres (6.6ft) high, closing several roads. Serbia's state television reported that 17 people, including six children, were injured in a pile-up caused by the wintry weather on the outskirts of the southern city of Nis.

National carrier Turkish Airlines cancelled 192 domestic and international flights that were scheduled for Saturday after heavy snow, icy conditions and strong winds were forecast for Istanbul.

Bulgarian authorities said some 650 villages across the country were without electricity due to high winds and heavy snow, while the national road service said that snow ploughs were unable to operate due to the conditions. Temperatures are forecast to drop to minus 20C (minus 4F) at the weekend.