A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has killed at least 85 people in Taiwan and stranded 60,000 tourists in South Korea. Taiwanese media reported deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend. Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights. The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.

Many of those who died in Taiwan were elderly people living in northern regions such as Taipei and Taoyuan. Those areas accounted for 66 of the deaths. Another 16 were confirmed dead in the southern city of Kaohsiung. The temperature in Taipei city fell to a 44-year low of 4C (39F) on Sunday, and many homes in Taiwan lack central heating. Many victims reportedly had heart trouble and shortness of breath. CONTINUE