Quarter of Slovenian homes in the dark after ice, blizzards cut power

LJUBLJANA Mon Feb 3, 2014 12:55pm EST

1 of 4. A man shovels ice next to ice-covered car in Postojna February 3, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic

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LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - A quarter of households in Slovenia were left without electricity on Monday after a weekend of blizzards and very low temperatures wreaked havoc on power lines and roads, the national STA news agency reported.

Leading daily newspaper Delo described it as the worst devastation in living memory.

More than 40 percent of schools were closed and only about a third of those were due to reopen on Tuesday, STA said.

It said the power cuts had affected more than 250,000 people, or one in four families, in the country.

This prompted the government to ask for help from the European Union's civil defense team in the form of power generators for the affected areas, the government said on its website.

STA said generators were being urgently dispatched from Austria, Czech Republic and Germany.

Farming Minister Dejan Zidan said ice and snow had damaged 500,000 hectares of forest, or roughly a half of Slovenia's total forest area.

(Reporting by Zoran Radosavljevic Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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