Snowstorm strands thousands overnight in their cars on highway in Hungary

Thousands of people have been forced to spend the night in their cars or roadside buildings after being stranded by a snowstorm on a major Hungarian highway.

Rescue officials said wind gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph) and trucks jackknifed across the M1 highway between Budapest and Vienna led to the traffic jams.

Dozens of major roads across the country were blocked by the snowfall, and the storm also left more than 100,000 people without electricity.

The weather conditions also led the government and several opposition parties to cancel outdoor festivities and events planned on Friday's national holiday commemorating Hungary's 1848 revolution against the Habsburgs.