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Deadly cold snap blasts South America


Kevan Karanjia
Staff Writer

Saturday, July 27, 2013, 8:29 - Plunging temperatures across much of South America are believed to have caused at least six deaths in Argentina and covered several regions in snow.

Up to 30 cm fell across Buenos Aires province (Photo courtesy Francisco Mendiverri)

Up to 30 cm fell across Buenos Aires province (Photo courtesy Francisco Mendiverri)

A deadly cold snap over large parts of South America is believed to have caused at least six deaths in Argentina. 

One victim was a three-year-old boy, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning that's thought to have originated from a heater. 

A blast of polar air originating from an unusually cool upper-level system sent temperatures plunging in many cities.

In Santiago, Chile, nighttime temperatures dropped to -2C, that's 5C below normal. 

Argentina's capital Buenos Aires saw overnight temperatures early this week drop to as low as 1 degree Celsius while in the provinces of Cordoba, it got as cold as -12 C. 

Aside from the cold, snow was a major problem.

Several roads in Buenos Aires province were closed as officials could not clear them quick enough. Up to 30 cm fell in some inland regions. 

Snow was reported in Uruguay's capital Montevideo, an occurrence that happens around once every five years. 

As far north as Brazil, there were reports of flurries across the states of Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul.

Known as as friagens, or geadas in Portuguese, cold blasts are common during the winter months but rarely do they make their way so far north. 

Three years ago temperatures across the Amazon rainforest dropped to as low as 7C, normally they would not drop below 18C.

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