Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) A king-size cold spell had taken a toll of at least 85 lives in Taiwan as of Sunday evening, including 35 deaths reported in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan.
Taoyuan City Fire Department said between early Sunday and 7:00 p.m. that day, seven people were dead, probably because of hypothermia or cardiac diseases caused by the sudden drop in temperature.
During the previous two days, the department said, 28 OHCA deaths in the city were believed to be caused by the cold front. Out-of- hospital cardiac arrest is also known as dead-on-arrival (at hospital).
In Kaohsiung, 16 people were rushed to hospitals since Jan. 22, all of whom showed no signs of life upon arrival, officials of the city's Fire Bureau said Sunday.
The 16 deaths were mostly caused by the onset of cardiovascular diseases as the mercury dipped suddenly, the officials said, noting that the victims were aged between 65 and 93.
Since Saturday, 31 deaths had been reported in Taipei and New Taipei in northern Taiwan. The relevant authorities attributed the deaths to hypothermia or cardiovascular diseases as the temperature fell to 4 degrees Celsius in most part of northern Taiwan Sunday.
Twenty-one of the deaths were reported in Taipei and 10 in New Taipei.
Meanwhile, three deaths probably linked to the chilly temperatures were reported in the southern county of Pingtung Sunday, according to data from the county's Bureau of Fire and Emergency Services.
The three died soon after they were rushed to local hospitals Sunday, the bureau said, noting that it was unconfirmed whether the deaths were caused by the low temperatures.
The three fatalities brought to six the number of deaths in the southern county that were suspected of being caused by the cold weather.
Paramedics said people should call 119 for help immediately if they feel any discomfort, and should not drive themselves to the hospital.
They also suggested that people, especially senior citizens, should keep warm and not venture out into the cold.
(By Cheng Chi-fong, Kuo Chu-chen, Bien Chin-feng, Kuo Chung-han and Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM/J/sc