People Are Dying As The Arctic Blast Hits The Midwest

As many as eight deaths have already been reported in the U.S. as of Thursday morning, according to the New York Times, due to the bone-chilling cold impacting the midwest and other regions. 

On Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa, warned residents about the cold air, adding that anyone outside should “minimize talking.”

“Make sure your mouth is covered to protect your lungs from severely cold air,” the NWS said, according to USA Today. “Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking. This is the coldest air many of us will have ever experienced. It’s not a case of ‘Meh, it’s Iowa during winter and this cold happens.’ These are record-breaking cold air temperatures, with wind chill values not seen in the 21st century in Iowa.”

One death reported this week is Gerald Belz, an 18-year-old University of Iowa student, who was found unresponsive by campus police outside of a campus building, according to People.

Though the investigation into his death is ongoing, officials believe the cause of death is weather-related.