MOSCOW — A bitter Russian cold spell has claimed at least 123 lives in 10 days as temperatures plunged to -30 degrees Celsius (-34 degrees Farenheit) in the Moscow region and 60 degrees Celsius (-51 degrees Farenheit) in Eastern Siberia, officials said Tuesday.
"Since the start of the cold, 123 people have died of exposure and frostbite," a medical source was quoted by Interfax as saying.
About 800 people have been hospitalized, 201 of them in the last 24 hours, the source added.
Temperatures are about 12 degrees Celsius lower than seasonal norms in Russia, where the coldest weather usually does not arrive until January or February.
Russia's weather service is predicting a drastic temperature jump in the European parts of Russia later this week, with 0 degrees Celsius expected in Moscow.
© AFP 2013