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Poland's cold snap death toll hits 62

07 february 2012, 15:09
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The sun sets on the freezing Wisla river in the Polish capital Warsaw. ©AFP
The sun sets on the freezing Wisla river in the Polish capital Warsaw. ©AFP
Europe's vicious cold snap has claimed 62 lives in Poland, with nine new victims in the past 24 hours, AFP reports, citing police Monday.

With overnight temperatures plunging to minus 24 degrees Celsius (minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country, the majority of the victims were homeless, often drunk.

In a bid to save lives, Poland's homeless shelters have dropped a ban on drunken individuals.

Overall, 107 people have died of hypothermia in Poland since winter hit in November. The current cold snap began at the end of January.

In neighbouring Lithuania, where the mercury has plunged to minus 31 Celsius (minus 24 Fahrenheit), the deaths of six more people over the weekend brought the cold snap's toll to 17.

In the Czech Republic, police said a homeless man was found dead in the eastern city of Brno, lifting that country's toll to 18.

In Kvilda, near the Czech-German border, the temperature hit minus 39.4 Celsius (minus 38.92 Fahrenheit), the lowest recorded in the country this winter.

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