U.S. Midwest polar vortex leaves about 20 dead, and the ground shaking

Friday, February 1, 2019


Temperatures as low as minus 56 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 49 Celsius) in US Midwest, that affected millions of Americans has left at least 21 dead.  Officials across multiple states linked numerous deaths to the frigid air. According to Stathis Poulakidas, a doctor at the city’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, the death was due to cold-related injuries.




The homeless and the elderly are more vulnerable to frostbites and in extreme cases the limbs might have to be amputated. Gerard Belz, student of University of Iowa, died when he went for a short walk. At that time, the wind chill was minus 51 F (minus 46 C), as per the National Weather Service data. It is believed that one can survive these temperatures only if one is near a heat source.




Snow and ice created treacherous travel conditions, with 26 road collisions reported within two hours on Thursday in eastern Iowa’s Johnson County as per the emergency communications.




Homes and businesses are using record amounts of natural gas to fight the cold, as per the financial data provider Refinitiv. Utilities appealed to consumers to conserve energy to avoid power outages.




It is believed that in some areas the temperatures are lower than that of South Pole.




Cotton, Minnesota, had the lowest national temperature recorded early on Thursday at minus 56 F (minus 48 C), before the weather warmed up, as per the weather service.




It is believed that these deep freeze temperatures are causing the ground to shake – frost quakes or ‘cryoseisms’. Chicago residents reported hearing ‘loud booms’ on Wednesday night. The frozen water trapped underground expands and splits rocks causing loud booms.




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