European cold spell kills hundreds

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The cold weather across Europe has already claimed around 400 lives, and cold temperatures there could last another week, according to forecasters.

The weather in Europe has been caused by the "negative Arctic oscillation," whereby the warmer weather of Europe and the colder weather of the Arctic are switched, said Omar Baddour of the UN's World Meteorological Organization.

Ukraine has reported the highest number of deaths now at 135. Many among the high death toll across the region were homeless people.

Some villages in Bosnia are receiving food and medical deliveries by helicopter as the cold, ice and snow has blocked their supply routes.

The temperatures across Eastern Europe fell well below freezing and in some places into dangerous levels below -32 degrees Celsius, or roughly -25 Fahrenheit, but 25 countries have issued severe weather warnings. Poland saw temperatures as low as -35 Celsius, which is -31 Fahrenheit.

So far casualties have been reported in the Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, and Greece.


For the current warnings across Europe see: Meteoalarm