36 dead in northern Taiwan as snow fever hits


Taipei – Thirty-six deaths were reported in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan in northern Taiwan from Saturday to 3 p.m. Sunday, which the authorities said were probably caused by hypothermia or cardiovascular disease.

The temperature fell to 4 degrees C in most part of northern Taiwan Sunday.

Twenty-one were reported in Taipei, 10 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, Lalashan in Taoyuan, and Yangmingshan National Park and 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 a decade hit Taiwan.

Taipei authorities said 13 deaths were suspected to have been caused by low temperatures on Saturday, with eight on Sunday, three of which were sent to hospital emergency rooms with no pulse on arrival.

It said all of them were found indoors.

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.

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 and especially senior citizens should keep warm and be prepared.