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More than 120 die as eastern Europe bears brunt of cold spell

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More than 120 die as eastern Europe bears brunt of cold spell


Freezing weather continues to grip Europe, with countries in the eastern part of the continent hit especially hard, causing more than 120 deaths.

Snow has stranded 11,000 villagers and killed six in Serbia’s mountains regions.

Polish authorities are responding to the danger the weather poses to homeless people with special patrols handing out hot food in Warsaw. Twenty-nine people living on the streets or in makeshift shelters have already died.

Sixty-three have perished in Ukraine over the past week and nearly 1,000 have been treated in hospital for hypothermia. More than 40 centimetres of snow fell in the capital Kiev on Thursday. One resident could only warm his house up to a balmy zero degree celsius when temperatures outside dropped to -27.

Hungarians who can not afford high heating bills are foraging for coal near local mines. It is hard work as they have to dig through around 30 centimetres of frozen soil before there is any chance of finding some lumps.

Even further west in Spain, the cold snap is producing unseasonably cold weather that could reach as far south as the beaches of the Balearic islands. Snow has already fallen in Catalonia and on the Basque country coast.

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