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UN Warns Of Flood Risk In Eastern Europe


A man passes by snow-covered boats during the current cold spell in Kyiv.

A man passes by snow-covered boats during the current cold spell in Kyiv.

The United Nations is warning that parts of central and eastern Europe until recently paralyzed by heavy snow could face flooding as the spring thaw begins.

Margareta Wahlstroem, the UN secretary-general's special representative for disaster risk reduction, said in a statement in Geneva that there are warning signs that "destructive floods will add to the loss of life and economic assets" as temperatures begin to rise.

The recent cold snap and massive snowfall across parts of Europe has claimed more than 600 lives.

The risk of flooding was seen as particularly high along the Danube where ice that recently blocked stretches of the river is already thawing.

UN Assists Ukrainians Hit By Cold Snap

In related news, the United Nations has donated $100,000 to Ukraine to assist people suffering from the severe cold spell that has claimed some 150 lives.

Most of the victims were homeless people.

A UN spokesperson said February 21 that the money will be spent on warm clothing, food, and heating centers.

Ukraine has been the most affected among European countries when temperatures dropped to minus 30 degrees Celsius earlier this month.

Health officials said nearly 5,000 people had sought medical help for frostbite and hypothermia.

It is expected that severe weather conditions in Ukraine will continue until the end of February.

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