Europe freeze death toll rises to 65

January 11, 2017 in Earth / Environment
A man digs a car out of the snow in a suburb of the Bulgarian capital Sofia after heavy snowfall on January 7, 2017

The death toll from the cold snap hitting parts of Europe rose to at least 65 on Wednesday as Bulgarian authorities reported seven fatalities.

They included a couple in their 80s, the only inhabitants of a village in the mountainous region of Smolyan in southern Bulgaria, who were found dead in their home on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the country two Iraqi migrants died in a snowstorm, a couple both aged 55 were killed by caused by faulty heating and a homeless man froze to death.

Temperatures sank to minus 18 Celsius (minus 0.4 Fahrenheit) in the capital Sofia and Bulgarian authorities said electricity and gas demand have reached 20-year highs.

Most of the deaths over the past week have been in central and south-eastern Europe, with and migrants stranded in Greece, Serbia and elsewhere most at risk.

In Turkey snow over the weekend paralysed Istanbul, forced the closure to ships of the Bosphorus Strait and the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Maritime traffic on rivers including the Danube, one of Europe's busiest waterways, has also been severely hampered.

© 2017 AFP

"Europe freeze death toll rises to 65" January 11, 2017