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Lives lost in Taipei area as cold wave approaches

2016/01/22 10:33:34

Taipei, Friday.

Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) Ten people died overnight in New Taipei City in cold and wet weather but the city's fire department said Friday it was unable to confirm that the deaths were related to the low temperatures.

Emergency services were called to help the people, who were described as middle-aged to elderly, but all 10 of them died of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), the fire department said.

None of the cases involved homeless people, the fire department said, adding that the causes of death would have to be determined by doctors.

In addition to the 10 cases, another person died in neighboring Taipei City, according to the Apple Daily tabloid. All of the deaths occurred between 11 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday, the paper said.

The weather in northern Taiwan, where the two municipalities are located, has been cold and mostly rainy over the past few days. The moisture in the air tends to intensify the cold, affecting people more intensely than the actual temperatures indicate.

There are concerns that an approaching cold wave, said to be the strongest to hit Taiwan in 10 years, will take the lives of more elderly people and those who are homeless.

The Central Weather Bureau has forecast temperatures of below 10 degrees Celsius throughout Taiwan early Saturday, saying that the mercury may drop to 10-year lows in many areas around the country.

The cold spell is expected to last until Tuesday.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Jay Chen)

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●Jan. 21: Cold front could bring heavy snow to high mountains in Taiwan
●Jan. 21: Snow tour to Taipei's Yangmingshan offered by local tour agency