TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –The coldest spell of the year has claimed 54 lives so far over the last two days.
Temperatures in Tamsui fell to 8.8 degrees Celsius at 7:25 a.m. Tuesday, the lowest recorded in Taiwan's low-lying areas this winter, according to CWB data. With rainy weather covering most of the northern part of the island Monday and Tuesday, temperatures throughout Taiwan have fallen to their lowest this winter.
Most of the fatalities from the cold wave were concentrated in Taichung in central Taiwan, with an average age of 70. As the first major cold wave swoops down, elders with existing cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases are at higher risk of stroke.
There were 12 cases alone in Taipei, followed by New Taipei City which reported 10 cases, as five of them regained vital signs after being sent to hospital.
Other areas that reported deaths caused by the cold weather include Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli for three cases with an average age of 76, and Yunlin, Chiayi areas for seven cases, and Changhua for four cases.
There are no cases in Southern Taiwan and on the outlying islands, even though in Pingtung, a 61-year-old man was found dead in front of his house. His family indicated that he had a history of cancer, but they didn’t exclude the possibility of stroke caused by the cold weather.