Winter has come early in Bavaria. Unexpected heavy snowfall has brought traffic to a halt in southern Germany, as well as Austria and Switzerland, and left thousands of people without power.
It was temporary chaos in southern Germany on Friday after as much as 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) of snow fell in some areas. The early winter weather has toppled trees and downed power lines in Bavaria, leaving about 12,000 people without electricity, and authorities told school children and drivers to stay home. In the Austrian province of Tyrol alone, nearly 30,000 people were lacking power.
Many key traffic routes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have also been affected. Germany's rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, was forced to suspend operations around Munich, while snowfall on the Autobahn left many drivers stuck.
Germany's DWD weather service recorded 35 centimeters of snowfall, the most at the beginning of the winter half-year since measurements began in 1800. Some parts of Switzerland experienced as much as 80 centimeters of snowfall.
dr/mkg (AFP, dpa)