The Siberian cold that has settled upon Europe has left some 400 dead — including 131 in the Ukraine, where the temperatures have been the coldest (minus 33 Celsius or minus 27 Fahrenheit) in six years. London’s Heathrow Airport has canceled half its flights, the Eiffel Tower is coated in snow and a 12-year old French boy died of hypothermia after falling into a frozen pond. Many of those who have perished are homeless; more than 3,000 heated tents have been set up in the Ukraine. Thousands more have been left without power.
The extreme cold has also made conditions more than uncomfortable for animals. This video shows those in the zoo in Belgrade in Serbia hanging on (though the seals seem quite pleased to be swimming amid ice).
I live on the US’s east coast, where we have been having quite the opposite winter. Snow has only fallen once and the temperatures have been extremely mild, around 1-2 degrees Celsius or 35 degrees Fahrenheit (and a completely balmy 15 – 16 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit last week, at the end of January). Not everyone here will agree with me, but I wouldn’t mind a bit more cold being sent here, if it means some warmer weather for those across the Atlantic.
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Photo taken February 5, 2012, by The Travelling Bum