Britain: ‘One Death Every Five Minutes Due To Cold Weather’

From the article:

“One person is dying every five minutes due to cold weather …”


UK: Pensioners are burning books to keep warm

Snow to fall in London as bitterly cold weather grips Britain (Telegraph, Feb. 2, 2012):

London is set to see its first significant snowfall today as the bitter cold snap continues to grip Britain.

Daytime temperatures have plummeted four or five degrees lower than average for February which istraditionally the coldest month of the year.

Forecasters said London faces its first settling snow of winter today as flurries move as far south as Kent. Parts of London saw flakes fall on December 17, but they did not settle.

Half an inch of snow was due overnight in East Anglia and north-east Scotland, amid more widespread -7C temperatures.

Anywhere in Britain could see snow on Saturday and Sunday as snow and rain sweeps the country from the north-west, with the Met Office warning of possible “significant” snow in the midlands and east.

Met Office forecaster Alison Richards said: “Snow flurries will move south from Norfolk through Thursday, reaching as far as Kent. People in London shouldn’t be surprised to see snow.

“Thursday night will fall to -10C in exposed rural areas, with Friday bringing another very cold day with snow showers possible on south-east coasts.

“Friday night will be less cold at -4C in the south-east and -2C further north.

“During the weekend, a band of snow and rain will start in the north-west and move south-east, affecting most parts.

“Anywhere could see snow and people are advised to keep up to date with forecasts.”

Temperatures are then expected rise a couple of degrees.

All of Europe and even Africa is being frozen by a giant 4,000-mile wide mass of freezing air shunted west from Siberia.

Amazingly, the Sahara Desert, which had no snow for 33 years until a brief fall in western Algeria last month, faces an inch of snow by the weekend.

Meteogroup forecaster Stephen Davenport, who said parts of north Africa face six inches of powder, said: “The deep cold is spreading surprisingly far south.

“It will deliver snow to Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica and, most remarkably, possible low level snow in north Africa, although it is unlikely to settle.”

One person is dying every five minutes due to cold weather this week, as Britain reels from a winter death rate twice as high as some of the world’s coldest countries, according to the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer.

Many of the dying are elderly. Pensioners groups described the figures as “shocking.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies said the average increase in winter deaths in England and Wales is 1,560 per week compared to non-winter months, with a “substantial” increase on top of that total expected due to extreme cold this week.

A death total close to 2,000 is expected, working out at 285 per day and one death every five minutes.

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