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
300 Dead in European Cold Snap
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 even North Africa. AFP PHOTO / CESAR MANSO   (Getty Images)

(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.

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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. (Read more Europe stories.)

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