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Feb-15-2012 16:46printcomments

Human Toll From Deadly Cold in Eastern Europe Passes 600

The death toll sailed past 300 people in Russia and the Ukraine alone.

Scene in Romania
Scene in Romania - more images in video below.

(SALEM) - Record freezing temperatures in Eastern Europe have claimed the lives of over 600 people. Officials in the Czech Republic reported Wednesday, that the blinding show was also behind two massive car crashes, one of which left a hundred autos smashed,tangled, and abandoned.

This region has been gripped by the sub zero freeze since January. Storms generated this year have delivered the most dangerous blizzards seen in decades.

News24.com reports today that tens of thousands of people are trapped in freezing homes and villages, which are surrounded by walls of snow and unpassable roads. Officials are struggling to reach the most vulnerable citizens with emergency food airlifts.

Media attention has focused on Romania, where 23,000 people remain isolated in 225 eastern communities following many days of heavy snow that not only blocked roads, but also wreaked havoc on the railroad system.

To make matters worse, some residents are expressing concerns over possible roof collapses.

The death toll sailed past 300 people in Russia and the Ukraine alone.

UKPA reports that 205 people in Russia have died this year from the cold, while Ukraine has lost 112. Poland's casualty toll is 107 and over the past 24-hours, 7 have died in Romania in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 86 deaths.

Other deaths were reported in Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

One story involves a 5-month-old girl with severe pneumonia who was transported to a hospital early Wednesday by sled and an army vehicle after authorities struggled for six hours to reach her.

Romanian farmers are also worried about what the wall of snow, actually reported at 15-feet in some areas this week, will mean to their livestock. Sheep, goats, horses and cows have limited survivability in conditions like these. One farmer reportedly found a temporary answer, he dug his pigs out of the snow and brought them into his house.


Eastern Europe's worst cold snap, storm - News24.com

Big freeze death toll tops 600 - UKPA


Tim King, summer 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

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Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Natalie February 16, 2012 10:10 pm (Pacific time)

It got divorced and uses its maiden name nowadays - Local.

Anonymous February 16, 2012 9:54 am (Pacific time)

OMG what happened to Global Warming?

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