Is the word "perishing" used correctly here?

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Is the word "perishing" being used correctly in this story?

So cold was she now that she could barely feel her hands and feet. The rain fell directly into her upturned face and freezing rivulets ran down her neck and under the collar of her dress, perishing her to the core.

The author says the word "perishing" is used in the UK to mean cold. But the story doesn't say something like "the perishing cold". It says the rain perished the girl, which doesn't sound right to me.

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