Authorities declared an alert in Eastern Romania today, as military planes flew in emergency aid to towns and villages that have been cut off from the rest of the country for days by staggering quantities of snow. In some places, people have had to dig tunnels through up to 15 feet of snow in order the leave their homes, the AP reports. A dozen major roads have been closed, 300 trains canceled, and 1,000 schools closed.
Thousands of soldiers have also been deployed to clear roads and help people trapped in the snow. At least 74 have died so far. The predicament isn't unique to Romania; all of Eastern Europe has been buffeted by a cold snap all month. A major stadium partially collapsed under snow in Bosnia's capital today, while in Montenegro, rescuers were evacuating passengers who had been trapped on a train for three days by an avalanche. Tens of thousands are stranded in Serbia, where another avalanche yesterday swept a man into Lake Perucac. (Read more Romania stories.)