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June 23, 2017

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Cold claims over 50 victims nationwide

TAIPEI -- A widespread cold spell had taken a toll of at least 52 lives in Taiwan as of Sunday afternoon, including 16 deaths reported in Kaohsiung in Southern Taiwan.

A total of 16 people were rushed to hospitals in the city since Jan. 22, all of whom showed no signs of life upon arrival, officials of the Fire Bureau of the Kaohsiung city government 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, 36 deaths had been reported in Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan in Northern Taiwan. The relevant authorities attributed the deaths to hypothermia or cardiovascular diseases as the temperature fell to 4 degrees Celsius in most parts of Northern Taiwan Sunday.

Twenty-one of the deaths were reported in Taipei, 10 in New Taipei and five in Taoyuan.

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.

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