Cold kills 48 in eastern Europe
BELGRADE, Serbia - The Associated Press
Bulgarian women walk during a snowfall in Rakovski village. Four people died in Romania and one in Bulgaria due to cold. AFP photoA severe and snowy cold snap across central and eastern Europe has left at least 45 people dead, cut off power to towns, and snarled traffic. Officials are responding with measures ranging from opening shelters to dispensing hot tea, with particular concern for the homeless and elderly.
Police searched for the homeless to make sure they didn’t freeze to death. Still, 30 people, most of them homeless, died in Ukraine from hypothermia and nearly 500 people sought medical help for frostbite and hypothermia in just three days last week. More than 17,000 people have sought help in 1,500 shelters in the past three days, authorities said. In Poland, at least 10 people froze to death as the cold reached minus 26 degrees Celcius Jan. 30. In Serbia, three people died and two more were missing. In Bulgaria, a 57-year-old man froze to death in a northwestern village. Four people have died in Romania because of freezing weather. There, authorities sent prison inmates to shovel snow and unblock paths leading to a shelter with some 300 stray dogs.