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Russian cold snap kills 110: ministry


Exceptionally cold weather in Russia has killed at least 110 people since the beginning of the year, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

"By this morning, 110 adults have died" from the cold, ministry spokesman Konstantin Proshin told AFP, adding that official data did not include children under 18 years of age.

An abnormally cold front sweeping across Central and Eastern Europe over the past week has also led to numerous deaths in neighbouring Ukraine as well as in Poland and Romania.

In the southern Krasnodar region on the Black Sea, the authorities have closed schools amid severe weather conditions.

The regional power provider Kubanenergo said Wednesday 28,000 people were without electricity in the Black Sea city Novorossiysk and several villages after high winds  damaged powerlines Tuesday evening amid temperatures of minus 16 degrees Celsius (+3 Fahrenheit).

Seventy-four people had to seek medical attention in the region after the storm, the emergency ministry said.

Across Russia, temperatures ranged Wednesday morning from minus 22 degrees Celsius (-7 Fahrenheit) in Moscow to minus 33 degrees Celsius (-27 Fahrenheit) in the Siberian region of Yakutia.

"The unusually cold temperatures in the central part of European Russia will continue over the next few days, and there will be a further strengthening of the cold during the weekend," the state weather service warned on Wednesday.

Temperatures in European Russia will remain up to 13 degrees Celsius colder than average for the next five days and in Moscow will plummet to minus 28 degrees Celsius (-18 Fahrenheit) by Monday, the weather service said.