300 Dead in European Cold Snap

Ukraine, Bosnia, Poland take the brunt of it

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2012 5:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Now in its second week, a European cold snap has claimed more than 300 lives and sent hundreds more to hospitals, the Telegraph and BBC report. Some temperatures have plunged as low as -40 Fahrenheit. Ukraine still has it worst with 131 officially dead—most of them homeless—and 1,800 hospitalized, but Poland saw eight more die overnight to bring its death toll to 53. In eastern Bosnia, rescue helicopters are dropping food to the needy while Sarajevo, paralyzed by snow, has declared a state of emergency.

The cold has even licked North Africa, where 16 Algerians are reported dead on snowy roads and in other weather-related incidents. At least four have died in France, while snowed-in Rome is sheeted in black ice. "It's awful," said one Rome resident. "The area is full of trees that have fallen on cars but no one's come to help us." Not all the news is bad, however: A Croatian woman gave birth with the help of neighbors when emergency workers couldn't get there in time. Her new daughter's name: Snjezana, or "Snow-White" in Croatian.

A man walks through a park in Burgos as snow hits northern Spain, on February 5, 2012. The Arctic cold snap that has hit Europe for over a week had claimed nearly 300 lives today, brought air travel chaos to London and dumped snow as far south as Rome and...
A man walks through a park in Burgos as snow hits northern Spain, on February 5, 2012. The Arctic cold snap that has hit Europe for over a week had claimed nearly 300 lives today, brought air travel chaos...   (Getty Images)
A group of skiers walks up to the snow covered Wendelstein church on top of the Wendelstein mountain near Bayrischzell, southern Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. After a period of relatively mild weather a cold spell has reached central and eastern Europe.
A group of skiers walks up to the snow covered Wendelstein church on top of the Wendelstein mountain near Bayrischzell, southern Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. After a period of relatively mild weather...   (AP Photo/dapd, Lukas Barth)
People remove a damaged car with a tow truck after an accident due to snow on February 5, 2012 in the French western French city of Nantes.  AFP PHOTO FRANK PERRY
People remove a damaged car with a tow truck after an accident due to snow on February 5, 2012 in the French western French city of Nantes. AFP PHOTO FRANK PERRY   (Getty Images)
A man walks past an ice covered car on the frozen waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in the city Versoix, near Geneva on early February 5, 2012. The death toll from the vicious cold snap across Europe has risen to more than 260, with the winter misery set to hit...
A man walks past an ice covered car on the frozen waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in the city Versoix, near Geneva on early February 5, 2012. The death toll from the vicious cold snap across Europe...   (Getty Images)
People look at the snow at the Trocadero near the Effeil Tower seen in background, in Paris, Sunday  Feb. 5, 2012. Freezing weather is affecting huge areas of Europe disrupting traffic.
People look at the snow at the Trocadero near the Effeil Tower seen in background, in Paris, Sunday Feb. 5, 2012. Freezing weather is affecting huge areas of Europe disrupting traffic.   (AP Photo/Jacques brinon)
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