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article imageSouth American winter starts with a severe cold snap

By Stephanie Dearing     Aug 8, 2010 in Environment
Sweltering temperatures have been the bane of British Columbia, Canada and Russia, where the heat wave is helping fan the flames of monstrous forest fires. But in South America, a freak cold snap has killed at least a dozen people.
Some sources claim that nearly 200 people have been killed by a deadly cold snap that has affected Bolivia since the end of July. It's winter in South America, and Bolivia is not the only country hit with what UPI describes as "bitter winter weather." Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil are also experiencing the cold snap, which has killed millions of fish and an untold number of livestock.
The colder-than-normal winter weather has caused snowfall in areas that normally do not see snow. Merco Press reported that Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, received its second snowfall in 93 years. The last time the city saw snow was 2007, according to the Guardian.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that the severe winter weather follows on the heels of a devastating period of drought for many South American countries. The cold is causing more hardship for farmers as livestock are succumbing to the weather.
People and livestock were not the only ones suffering from the cold. Reports are trickling out of Bolivia that millions of fish have died as a result of the cold.
With the northern part of South America straddling the equator and southern countries lying near the Antarctic, weather in South America varies between tropical and temperate.
Some areas, such as Buenos Aires in Argentina, are experiencing a respite from the severe weather, with more seasonable temperatures back for now, while other countries, like Bolivia, are still experiencing colder than normal weather.
Severe weather conditions have been hitting locations around the world, with flooding in Central Europe affecting several countries.
A melting glacier in British Columbia that caused a landslide had less devastating consequences for area residents.
Pakistan has arguably experienced the worst flooding this season, with thousands missing or dead and millions displaced. Rains in the Himalayan region of India have also caused flooding, deaths and damage.
Parts of China are also reeling after rains caused flooding and landslides.
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