At least 11,000 villagers have been trapped by heavy snow and blizzards in Serbia’s mountains, authorities announced Thursday, as the death toll from Eastern Europe’s weeklong deep freeze rose to 114.
Those stranded live in some 6,500 homes in remote areas that cannot be reach due to icy, snow-clogged roads, emergency police official Predrag Maric said. Emergency crews were pressing hard to try to clear the snow and deliver badly needed supplies.
“We are trying everything to unblock the roads, since more snow and blizzards are expected in the coming days,” Maric said.
Twenty more deaths from the cold were reported in Ukraine on Thursday, with nine more in Poland and one more each in Serbia and the Czech Republic. Officials said most of victims were homeless.
Temperatures across the region sank to minus 32.5 C (minus 26.5 F) in some areas. Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and the rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea. In Bulgaria, 16 towns recorded their lowest temperatures since records started 100 years ago.
Polish government spokeswoman Malgorzata Wozniak said her country’s victims were mostly homeless people under the influence of alcohol who had sought shelter in unheated buildings. Officials appealed to the public Thursday to quickly help anyone they saw in need.