Death toll in Eastern Europe rises as big freeze continues

Temperatures in parts of Eastern Europe have dropped to minus 33 degrees Celsius (minus 27 Fahrenheit), causing more deaths across the region and forcing the evacuation of a number of villages in Serbia and Bosnia.

According to AP, the death toll across the region rose to at least 112 on Thursday, with reports of 20 more deaths in Ukraine, nine more in Poland and one more in Serbia.

Reuters, meanwhile, reported that that rescue helicopters had been used to deliver emergency food and medicine to about 300 people in the worst-hit parts of Serbia and Bosnia.

“We are barely coping. I live on my own; it is a real struggle," Radenka Jeftovic, an elderly resident in the Bosnian hamlet of Han Kran on Mount Romanija is quoted as saying.

Elsewhere in the country, dozens of people have been airlifted to safety and taken to evacuation centres.

Ukraine has been among the worst-affected countries. Reuters reports the country’s emergency ministry as saying that 43 people have now died in what is the coldest winter in six years. Over half of the victims were homeless, and authorities are now providing heated tents to those living on the street.

"They say the whole February will be cold, and the first half of March, so we have to get ready for this somehow," Viktor a homeless man in the capital Kiev told the news agency.

Deaths have also been reported in Hungary, Romania and Poland.

Euronews reports that in Romania parts of the Black Sea froze, and snow fell on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, where 9,000 people were left without electricity.

In Bulgaria 16 villages recorded the lowest temperature since records began 100 years ago and cash machines in the capital Sofia froze.

AP reported that in Hungary several had suspended classes, including one that claimed it could not afford the heating bills.

The European weather alert network Meteoalarm has warned of more “extremely dangerous" weather to come across Eastern Europe.

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