18:20 GMT +311 December 2017
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    Russian Cold Snap Kills 215

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    The severe cold snap gripping most of Russia has already killed at least 215 people and injured over 5,500, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

    The severe cold snap gripping most of Russia has already killed at least 215 people and injured over 5,500, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

    “Over the January 1-February 13 period, 5,546 people in Russia suffered from hypothermia and chilblains, including 154 children. A total of 3,382 people were admitted to hospitals, including 52 children. At least 215 people died,” the ministry said in a statement.

    The low termperature on Sunday night in Moscow was near the record for February 12, minus 28.5 degrees Celsius (-19 Fahrenheit).

    The biting cold compels Russians to make excessive use heating devices such as electrical space heaters and furnaces, which increase the fire risk.

    The current temperatures in Russia are 7-12 degrees below normal. The cold snap even extends into the normally warm North Caucasus with temperatures there plummeting to minus 20 degrees Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit). Siberia and the Far East are currently in a deep freeze at minus 40 degrees Celsius.

    Freezing temperatures also hit many European countries, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, where extremely low temperatures killed scores of people.

     

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