By Jan-Uwe Ronneburger
Buenos Aires (dpa) – At least 175 people have died in the coldest
winter in South America in recent years, officials in six affected
The cold was worst in southern Peru, where temperatures in higher
altitudes of the Andes dropped to minus 23 degrees Celsius. Officials
said Monday that since the beginning of last week 112 people died of
hypothermia and flu.
Argentina measured the coldest temperatures in 10 years. Sixteen
people froze to death and 11 died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to
In Bolivia, 18 people died, in Paraguay five and two each in Chile
and Uruguay. Nine people died of the cold in southern Brazil.
Thousands of cattle also froze to death on their pastures in
Paraguay and Brazil. There are no stables for the animals as
temperatures usually do not drop that low.
Several regions in Bolivia and Peru closed schools until the end
of the week and larger cities opened emergency shelters for homeless
Electricity and gas networks are operating at capacity limits in
many of the affected regions. Argentina reported natural gas
shortages in several provinces.
The poorest population groups are worst affected by the cold spell
with their homes poorly equipped to deal with the cold, lack of
heating and access to health care.