Cold Snap Claims Lives Across Russia

Dec. 20 2012 — 00:00

Health officials said Wednesday that record-breaking cold weather caused the deaths of 21 people the day before.

In all, 147 people were hospitalized with frost bite, and 250 suffered cold-related injuries the same day, RIA-Novosti reported.

Tuesday’s fatalities come a week into a period of unseasonable cold.

Overall, 45 people have died and 266 people have been hospitalized since temperatures ranging from minus 18 degrees Celsius in the capital to minus 50 degrees in parts of Siberia gripped the country a week ago. The past week’s weather was the coldest to hit Russia since 1938, RIA-Novosti said.

Alongside an increased risk of hypothermia, freezing temperatures cause greater fuel consumption, which results in fires, the report said, adding that such fires claim the lives of up to 70 Russians daily.

The current cold snap is expected to last through the middle of next week, according to weather forecasts.

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