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15 dead in New Taipei, Taoyuan as snow dusts Taiwan

2016/01/24 15:26:47

New Taipei's Pinglin District.

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) Fifteen deaths were reported in New Taipei and Taoyuan in northern Taiwan from the early hours to 2 p.m. Sunday, which were probably due to hypothermia or cardiovascular disease.

Ten were reported in New Taipei and five in Taoyuan.

It snowed in the hills and mountainous areas of Pinglin, Shiding, Wulai, Xindian, and Xizhi districts in New Taipei and at Chinese Culture University in Taipei's Shilin District, which is only about 400 meters above sea level, from Saturday evening to Sunday morning, as the worst cold front in several years hit Taiwan.

Over 50 dead around Taiwan, victims of cold spell

New Taipei Police Department said it found a 56-year-old man surnamed Chen dead on the street Sunday morning, while most of the other cases were found in their residences.

Five, one man and four women, were reported dead in Taoyuan, ranging in age between 46 and 84.

Meanwhile, critical cases in the emergency room of Taipei Medical University Hospital (TMUH) were twice as many as on a normal day, with most cases reported as sudden cardiac death, stroke and myocardial infarction.

Kao Wei-feng (高偉峰), chief of the emergency services of the TMUH, said an American survey has said sudden cardiac death tends to happen more frequently in low temperatures compared with higher temperatures.

In temperatures of under 5 degrees Celsius, respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be 10 percent more serious for every temperature drop of 1 degree, Kao cited research as saying.

Kao also warned against using portable heaters and disposable heat pads carefully to prevent being burned.

People should also maintain proper ventilation indoors to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, said Kao.

The Tri-Service General Hospital emergency room did not see any more cardiovascular disease patients than usual that day.

(By Wang Hung-kuo, Chen Wei-ting and Kuo Chung-han)