Sub-zero weather kills 21 in Poland

2016-01-04 16:56
People walk among the Christmas decorations in Warsaw. (Czarek Sokolowski, AP)

People walk among the Christmas decorations in Warsaw. (Czarek Sokolowski, AP)

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Warsaw - Twenty-one people died over the weekend in Poland because of freezing weather amid one of the country's deadliest cold spells, the government said on Monday.

"Twelve people died over the last 24 hours. We also recorded nine other victims the day before," spokesperson Bozena Wysocka from the government centre for security said after temperatures dropped to minus 20°C in certain areas.

That brings the total number of deaths linked to the cold weather to 39 since November 1, she said.

Poland's deadliest hypothermia weekend in recent years was December 19 2009 when 42 people died.

Police have called on residents of the European Union country of 38 million to keep an eye out for anyone running the risk of hypothermia, especially the homeless, inebriated or the elderly.

Fourteen people have also died since Christmas in the Polish-Slovak Tatra mountains, with most of the victims slipping and falling to their deaths on the icy slopes.

Poland's cold spell was late to arrive this winter, just like in 2014-2015, when 77 people died of hypothermia, compared to 78 in 2013-2014 and 177 in 2012-2013.

Read more on:    poland  |  weather

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