Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Text Only

Help

Site Map

Thursday, December 18, 1997 Published at 07:42 GMT



World

Freeze proves fatal in Eastern Europe
image: [ Red Square: Moscow is experiencing the lowest mid-December temperatures ever recorded ]
Red Square: Moscow is experiencing the lowest mid-December temperatures ever recorded

Eastern Europe is struggling to cope with a sudden wave of severe freezing weather.

The cold has claimed the lives of eleven people in Poland and seven in Bucharest, the Romanian capital. A further four died in Bulgaria.


[ image: Charities hand out emergency supplies to the homeless]
Charities hand out emergency supplies to the homeless
At least five people have died in Moscow where mid-December temperatures are the coldest since records began in 1882.

Forty-two people were admitted to hospital in Moscow, suffering from hypothermia and frostbite.

Temperatures are down to minus 30 degrees in some parts of the city and forecasters say there's worse to come.

Several towns and cities in western Russia are in chaos due to temperatures of minus 45 degrees. A state of emergency was declared in the Donbass coal mining region in Ukraine.


[ image: Frozen over: Moscow River]
Frozen over: Moscow River
The Moscow River is completely frozen, pipes have burst all over the city and one block of flats literally cracked open during the night.

The fire brigade has had to fight a plague of fires as people struggle to keep out the frost.

Some of those worst hit by the extreme temperatures are the thousands of people who live on Moscow's icy streets. Charities hand out bread and soup to the homeless, but their efforts only go a small way to solving the problem.

Dozens of people die every winter after falling asleep in the sub-zero temperatures outside. The city authorities say they are not taking special measures as no one has any need to live on the street.


[ image: Standstill: cars immobilised by the cold]
Standstill: cars immobilised by the cold
Schools have told children aged between six and 10 that they can start their holidays early.

However, the ferocious freeze has had a positive effect on one thing in the city - traffic congestion. Many vehicles are at a standstill as car batteries are simply unable to cope.
 





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

  Relevant Stories

18 Dec 97 | World
Moscow gripped by freeze

 
  Internet Links

Russia Today

The Russian Government's Internet Network


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named





World Contents

Middle East
Africa
Europe
Americas
South Asia
From Our Own Correspondent
Letter From America
Asia-Pacific