A woman looks out of the window of an ice-covered building in Postojna February 5, 2014. Cars stand entombed in a crystal-like casing near the deserted railway station in Postojna. Trees and electricity pylons lie felled in the snow by the sheer weight of ice enveloping them. Three days of blizzards and a f ice storm have inflicted “the worst devestation” in living memory” in the small Alpine country of Slovenia as life in half of the country is frozen in place. Unexpected rain in the west rapidly turned to ice, entombing cars, trains, ATMS, and power lines in addition to half of Slovenia’s forests (roughly 1.2 million acres). A tiny EU member-state already going through a recession and a bank bailout over billions of euros in toxic debt, Slovenia is now facing the worst economic crisis in two decades.
“Slovenia has witnessed a major natural disaster,” Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said while visiting the badly-hit town of Ljubno ob Savinji.
Here’s a man methodically removing inches-thick ice from a car with a hammer.
Other cars were hit by trees that buckled under the ice.
The frozen landscape is the new reality, for now.
“In the 35 years I’ve worked here, I’ve never seen anything like this,” A railway worker told Reuters. “It will take another two months before trains can run again.”
First, drivers had to figure out how to free their cars.
A women with child drags a sledge next to a fallen pillar of the main power lines in Strmca February 3, 2014.
And more snow is forecast before Slovenians deal with the added risk of flooding once the ice melts.