Following heavy snow fall and a sudden drop in temperatures across east Europe 18 people have died in Ukraine and 10 in Poland.
During the day temperatures have plunged to -16C (3F) and -23C (-10F) at night, the Associated Press reports.
In only three days nearly 500 people have sought treatment for frostbite and hypothermia, said Ukrainian officials.
According to Ukrainian media more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in some 1,500 shelters during the same period.
The country’s Emergency Situations ministry said that twelve of the dead were homeless people. Their bodies were discovered on the streets.
After a relatively mild winter, temperatures in Poland dropped last Friday from just below freezing to -26C (-15F).
Elderly people and homeless people were among the dead, said Malgorzata Wozniak of Poland’s interior ministry.
And according to Polish forecasters temperatures could fall further during the week, to below -20C during the day and -30C at night.
Three deaths were also reported in Serbia, were police reported that the snowy conditions had led to the deaths of a woman and two elderly men. And in the south of the country two men in their 70s are believed to be missing.
A person also died due to freezing conditions in Bulgaria.
In the country’s capital, Sofia, and the Czech capital, Prague, emergency shelters offering food and heat are being set up, said AP.