Europe cold snap toll exceeds 450

2012-02-07 19:12

Warsaw - Dozens more people were killed on Tuesday across Europe, with the three-week death toll exceeding 450 and the frosty spell expected to continue.

Many of the victims were the homeless, elderly and those whose remote villages were isolated by heavy snow.

Temperatures have often dipped lower than -30°C in some areas. The freezing cold is expected to last until mid-February, when higher temperatures can be expected in Europe, Serbian meteorologists said.

Six people froze to death in Poland and three more suffocated because of faulty heaters, the Interior Ministry said in Warsaw.

The persistent cold, no higher than -8°C, forced the Warsaw zoo to move its meerkats to a pavilion heated by solarium lamps, said zoo director Andrzej Kruszewicz.

In Hungary four people froze to death in the past 24 hours, the national disaster protection agency said, while in Belgrade, a 4kg icicle fell from a 12-storey building instantly killing a woman.

In Romania the authorities revised downward by three the number of deaths, bringing the total to 36.

Five days of blizzards and gale-force wind paralysed much of the former Yugoslavia.

The thaw that will follow the deep freeze will bring its own problems, such as floods that have already affected Bulgaria and Greece.

In southern Bulgaria, at least eight people drowned when a reservoir dam burst under the pressure of accumulated water.

About 18 000 people had to be evacuated. Across Bulgaria's border with Greece, a state of emergency was declared and hundreds had to be evacuated.

Read more on:    europe  |  weather

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