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Death Toll From European Cold Spell At Least 164; Ukraine Hard-Hit

The scene at a newly opened shelters in the industrial city of Donetsk on February 2.
Cold weather across large areas of Europe is being blamed for the deaths of 164 people.

Polish authorities recorded nine more people dead due to freezing temperatures bring the total to 29 since last week.

Temperatures have fallen as low as minus 32 degrees Celsius is some areas of Poland.

Ukraine's Emergencies Ministry said in a statement that newly reported deaths have brought the total fatalities from extreme cold in that country to 101 in the past week. The statement said most of the victims were homeless people.

More than 1,200 people have been treated in Ukrainian hospital for frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold-related ailments. About 3,000 heated tents have been set up around the country to provide makeshift accommodation and dispense food and drinks to homeless people.

Eastern Europe has been particularly hard hit, with some villages in the Balkans being entirely cut off due to heavy snows.

In Georgia, people were enduring the coldest temperatures since 1998, with Tbilisi registering minus 10-13 degrees and mountain areas recording temperatures down to minus 20.

Europe is not alone in feeling the chill.

Kazakhstan reports heavy snows in western areas and temperatures between minus 30 and minus 40 in northern parts of the country.

compiled from agency reports