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Deep freeze death toll rises to 48 as eastern Europe is battered by heavy snow

2012.02.01 Няма коментари
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Heavy snow and a severe cold snap have killed at least 48 people across central and eastern Europe.

Poland, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have all been hit by temperatures as low as -26C – causing schools to close, roads to be blocked and power cuts.

 

Frosted in: A man smokes inside a tram in Sofia, Bulgaria, as cold weather hits the country

 

Residents have been urged to stay indoors as local authorities open up hundreds of emergency shelters in a bid to halt the rapidly escalating death toll.

Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Ministry said 30 people died of hypothermia and nearly 500 people sought medical help for frostbites and hypothermia in the last week.

At least twelve of the dead were homeless people whose bodies were discovered on the streets. Temperatures in parts of Ukraine plunged to minus -16C during the day and -23C during the night.

In central Serbia, three people died and two more were missing and 14 municipalities were operating under emergency decrees.

Efforts to clear roads of snow were hampered by strong winds and dozens of towns faced power outages.

Police said one woman froze to death in a snowstorm in a central Serbian village, while two elderly men were found dead, one in the snow outside his home.

Further south, emergency crews are searching for two men in their 70s who are feared dead. In Romania, local media reported four people had died due to the frigid weather.

Freezing: Poland, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have all been hit by temperatures as low as -26C. The Romanian village of Catelu pictured here during a blizzard

 

Hungry dogs and puppies near the Romanian capital of Bucharest got a helping hand after a dozen prison in mates shovelled snow to unblock paths to a stray dog shelter housing 300 dogs.

The strays had been frozen in after snowstorms.

In the Czech capital of Prague, city authorities worked to set up tents for an estimated 3,000 homeless people. Freezing temperatures also damaged train tracks, slowing railway traffic.

The cold snap is expected to continue throughout the week, with an established area of high pressure in Scandinavia and western Russia preventing mild air from southern Spain and northern Africa moving northwards.

Croatian meteorologist Zoran Vakula said: ‘We are getting some “real” winter this week.’

Temperatures in Moscow, Russia, are not expected to get higher than -19C. The normal temperature at this time of year is -8C in the Russian capital.

 

Lee Moran

Dailymail.co.uk

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