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220 killed as Big freeze tightens grip in Europe

world Updated: Feb 04, 2012 00:49 IST

AFP
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Temperatures plunged to new lows in Europe where a week-long cold snap has now claimed more than 220 lives and forecasters warned that the big freeze would tighten its grip at the weekend.

In the southwest Czech Republic, the mercury dropped as low as minus 38.1 degrees Celsius overnight and even Rome received a rare dusting of snow.

Most of the dead in the European Union's poorest country were villagers found frozen to death on the side of the road or in their unheated homes, the reports said.