58 Dead in European Cold Snap
Ukraine sees 30 die in recent days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2012 10:46 AM CST
Snow covers benches in a winter landscape in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. Thirty people, most of them homeless, have died of hypothermia in recent days in Ukraine, part of a surge of deaths...   (Efrem Lukatsky)
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(Newser) – Thirty people, most of them homeless, have died of hypothermia in recent days in Ukraine, part of a surge of deaths across eastern Europe as the region grapples with an unusually severe cold spell. In all, at least 58 people have died from the cold in Europe over the last week. Of the victims in Ukraine, 21 were found frozen on the streets, five died in hospitals and four died in their own homes, according to Ukranian officials.

More than 540 others have been hospitalized with hypothermia and frostbite, health officials said. Heavy snowfalls and icy roads also caused traffic jams in southern Ukraine. Temperatures plunged to -10° F in the capital of Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine, as schools and nurseries closed down and authorities set up hundreds of heated tents for the homeless. In Poland, five people died of hypothermia in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll from the cold to 15 in the last four days, the national police said. Two others died in Romania over that span, and one in Russia.