Europe Freeze: More Deaths In Ukraine And Poland

LONDON, England -- Another 20 people have died in Ukraine and nine in Poland as temperatures fall below -30C (-22F), officials say.

A woman walks in the center of Kiev.

Europe's current cold snap has claimed more than 110 lives so far, including 63 in Ukraine and 29 in Poland.

The Serbian authorities say about 11,000 villagers have been cut off by snow and blizzards in remote areas.

Emergency services have described the situation, close to Serbia's south-western borders with Kosovo and Montenegro, as very serious.

In places, the snow has reached a depth of 2m (6ft 6in).

Fourteen municipalities are affected, emergency official Predrag Maric told the BBC, adding that the unusual harshness of the winter was causing problems for the sick and the elderly in particular.

Heavy snow has also caused widespread disruption in northern and central Italy.

Weather experts say it is the coldest week in the country for 27 years.

More than 600 passengers were trapped on an unheated train in the Apennines for seven hours on Wednesday night when the brakes and electrical cables froze.

Wind chill

The coldest temperatures have been recorded in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Serbian journalist Predrag Ivkovic, says snow is piled high in parts of the country

In the Urals and Siberia, the temperature fell to -40C (-40F) while in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, a forecaster told Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency the wind-chill factor meant the real temperature was down to -52C, even though the air temperature was -35C.

In southern Russia, cars and lorries became stuck in snow drifts between Novorossiisk and Krasnodar.

Heavy snow has also hit Turkey, with 50cm falling in Istanbul on Wednesday.

An avalanche in the south-east of the country killed a woman in her home, reports say.

Another avalanche blocked a main road connecting the provinces of Bitlis and Diyarbakir.

Rescuers in Germany were unable to save an elderly woman after she had gone swimming in the frozen waters of a gravel pit in Lower Saxony.

Reports said she had often swum in the lake.

Source: BBC News