Greece, Bulgaria battle flooding; 8 dead

By Veselin Toshkov

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 7 2012 3:16 p.m. MST

In Poland, meanwhile, the big freeze killed another six people in the last 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Ministry spokeswoman Malgorzata Wozniak said Tuesday that three other people died of asphyxiation with carbon monoxide from heaters they were using in their homes.

Heavy snowfalls trapped dozens of cars on motorways in south Ukraine Tuesday and emergency officials deployed a helicopter to rescue the crew of a cargo ship stranded in icy waters in the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine, the hardest-hit country, has recorded 135 deaths from the cold, along with more than 2150 people hospitalized with hypothermia and frostbite.

Lithuanian officials said 23 people have died so far this year due to subfreezing temperatures in the tiny Baltic republic of 3 million.

Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, was hit by strong winds that blew off roofs from houses, pulled out trees and traffic signs, turned over garbage containers and left parts of the city without electricity.

In the Croatian town of Split, on the Adriatic coast, authorities said the local hospital is overcrowded with people who sought help for injuries sustained in falls because of ice and snow. Split is unused to snow and usually has mild winters.

Italy remained in the grip of a bitter cold spell, with reports of people freezing to death. Low temperatures have even caused parts of the Grand Canal in the lagoon city of Venice to freeze over, while the south of Italy, which usually enjoys a mild climate, has seen snow that has caused power outages to thousands of people.

In Romania, snow and high winds cut off 127 communities and blocked 237 county roads, and some 1,100 people were stranded overnight in two trains.

They included nine soccer players from Otelul Galati, the Romanian champions, who were headed to Bucharest where they were due to fly to Spain for training. Local government official Dumitru Popa said the army would be sent in to move the athletes' train, which had been blocked for 29 hours and was carrying around 500 people.

Ambulances were blocked by snow and unable to reach 32 snowed-in residents, including a woman in labor in need of help, according to health officials. An electricity company said 60,000 people have suffered power outages.

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Associated Press writers Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Serbia; Maria Danilova in Kiev, Ukraine; Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland; Nicholas Paphitis in Athens, Greece; Alina Wolfe Murray in Bucharest, Romania; Gary Peach in Riga, Latvia; and Vanessa Gera in Rome contributed to this report.

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