Cold Weather Kills Nearly 80 in Europe

Posted February 1st, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Nearly 80 people have died in central and eastern Europe as a severe cold spell brought some of the lowest temperatures seen in decades.

In Ukraine, officials reported 43 deaths from hypothermia over the past six days. Most of the deaths were homeless people, but seven others died in their homes.

In Romania, six people died in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 14. Health Ministry officials say hundreds of others were hospitalized with hypothermia.

Meanwhile, officials in Poland reported five new deaths Wednesday, bringing the overall number to 20.

Other weather-related deaths have been reported across the region, including in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The freezing weather caught many Europeans by surprise, as this winter had been unusually mild with spring-like temperatures in many cities.