Sunday 25 March 2018

Scores dead as Eastern Europe temperatures plummet to -30C

Anna Du Frayze in Kiev

More than 60 people have died in a cold snap sweeping across Eastern Europe, emergency services said yesterday.

The plummeting temperatures forced some countries to call in the army to help secure food and medical supplies and set up emergency shelters.

The temperature in Ukraine sank to -33C, the coldest in six years, while eastern Bosnia experienced lows of -31C and Poland, Romania and Bulgaria -30C.

Forecasters said the cold spell would last until Friday with further heavy snow expected across the region today.

At least 30 people, most of them homeless, have died in Ukraine in the past five days. Another 500 people were treated in hospital for frostbite and other cold-related ailments.

January temperatures in Ukraine do not normally sink below -15C. The ministry said 1,600 centres had been set up to provide shelter and hand out food for the homeless.

Five people died in Bulgaria and eight in Romania.

Five people were reported dead in Poland overnight, bringing to 15 the number to have died since temperatures dropped at the weekend.

At least three people died in heavy snow in Serbia's mountain regions to the south and southeast. Authorities declared a state of emergency in 13 municipalities and deployed the army to get supplies to remote villages.

Irish Independent

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