Death toll from February snowstorm in Texas doubled by authorities

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 26, 2021, 01:34 PM IST

Photograph:(Nitashia Johnson © 2021 The New York Times Company)

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The storm was responsible for depriving over 4 million homes of electricity

Officials in Texas raised the death toll from the winter storm in February to at least 111 people on Thursday. This updates the tally to account for twice the number of deaths previously reported from one of the worst power outages in the history of US.

Besides Texas, the snowstorm is also responsible for multiple deaths in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Details divulged by the Texas Department of State Health Services blame hypothermia for the deaths.

Even then, authorities worry that the official death toll may in fact be higher, and are currently investigating the same. The storm was responsible for depriving over 4 million homes of electricity.

Texas’ electric grid failed after days of extremely low temperatures pushed up the demand, leaving millions vulnerable in the cold. The initial tally put the number of deaths at 57, but officials had warned of more deaths coming to light eventually.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas but killed lesser people with 68 deaths on record. Many fatalities from the storm were reported as far away as Oklahoma, as well as the Mexico-US border.

Among things besides cold, many factors killed people in the state, including vehicle accidents, medical equipment failure, lack of home oxygen, fire, falls, carbon monoxide poisoning.

The most number of deaths were reported in Harris County, which accounted for 31 victims. Hypothermia caused the majority of deaths, and implies the body’s inability to produce more heat than it loses. In the event of lack of treatment, hypothermia starts affecting the brain.