Europe’s arctic conditions have claimed more victims, bringing the total number of people killed by hypothermia alone to over 350 according to reports.
The worst conditions have again been experienced in the east. In Romania two dozen people were said to have died in 24 hours. Towns and villages were cut off; hundreds were without power; thousands of government workers joined the emergency effort.
In Poland the homeless in particular have suffered. As in neighbouring Ukraine where more than 100 people have died since the freeze began, alcohol abuse is being blamed for causing accidents and deaths.
In Lithuania, the Czech Republic and elsewhere similar stories were reported.
Further south the Balkans too remain paralysed. In Bosnia helicopters delivered food and aid packages to isolated villages.
In Croatia a woman gave birth at home with a neighbour’s help while a midwife gave instructions by phone. In Serbia where a state of emergency has been declared, temperatures are forecast to remain below zero until mid-February.
Bulgaria may be warmer, but heavy rain and melting snow caused a dam wall to break, flooding a southern village. Four people died and more than 50 evacuated. Four more died when their cars were swept away.
The European Commission said gas supplies from Russia had improved at the weekend but had not fully recovered.
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