Cold snap in Eastern Europe kills more than 650

February 15, 2012 By ALINA WOLFE MURRAY , Associated Press
A snow plough clears a road near Harrachov in the Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mountains), 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Prague, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/CTK, Radek Petrasek) SLOVAKIA OUT

(AP) -- More than 650 people have died during a record-breaking cold snap in Eastern Europe, authorities said Wednesday, as officials in the Czech Republic blamed two massive car crashes on blinding snow.

Since the end of January, the region has been pummeled by the deep freeze, which has brought the heaviest blizzards in recent memory. Tens of thousands have been trapped in often-freezing homes and villages by walls of snow and unpassable roads, and officials have struggled to reach out to the vulnerable with emergency food airlifts.

Authorities in Russia and Ukraine alone reported Wednesday that more than 300 people have died in the bitter cold.

About 100 damaged cars blocked a major highway in the Czech Republic connecting the capital, Prague, with the eastern part of the country and Slovakia. Seven people were injured in two separate accidents, authorities said, warning it could be hours before the mangled vehicles are cleared.

Some 40 cars crashed before midday Wednesday during a heavy snowstorm 188 miles (300 kilometers) east of Prague, injuring two people. Dozens of vehicles, including a bus, were involved in a separate crash southeast of Prague, which injured five, according to Czech public CT24 television.

Authorities in Russia said 205 people have died this year in the frigid cold, while Ukraine has had 112 cold fatalities and Poland had 107. Seven people have died in Romania in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 86 deaths. In Lithuania, there have been 23 deaths. Deaths were also reported in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

In hard-hit Romania, some 23,000 people remain isolated in 225 eastern communities where more than one week of heavy snow has blocked roads and wreaked havoc on the rail network. Residents were worried that their houses could collapse under the heavy snow as authorities struggled to bring them food, water, medicine and wood.

A flight instructor flew his homemade powered parachute - a motorized vehicle that flies at low altitude - making several 45 minute-trips to deliver bread and canned food to people who have been cut off for days.

A five-month-old girl with severe pneumonia was taken to a hospital early Wednesday by sled and an army vehicle after authorities struggled for six hours to reach her.

Romanian farmers - faced with up to 15 feet of snow in some areas this week - are concerned about their sheep, goats, horses and cows. One farmer said he dug his pigs out of the snow and brought them into his home.

Explore further: Rabid bats kill at least eight children in Ecuador

shares

Related Stories

Rabid bats kill at least eight children in Ecuador

December 4, 2011
At least eight children in Ecuador's Amazon basin region have died after being bitten by rabid bats, officials said Saturday.

No whooping cough deaths in California last year

January 24, 2012
No Californian died from whooping cough in 2011, the first year since 1991 that there have been no deaths in the state from the highly infectious illness.

Recommended for you

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

September 20, 2017
First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tadchem
not rated yet Feb 15, 2012
Dear Lord: More Global Warming, Please?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.