Vladivostok snowstorm: Emergency declared amid chaos and power cuts

Publishedduration1 hour agoimage copyrightReutersimage captionFreezing rain has coated power lines in thick ice across over a vast area

A snowstorm has battered parts of the Russian Far-East, causing power cuts, transport chaos and school closures.

The storm hit the Primorsky region on Thursday. In the port city of Vladivostok winds brought down frozen trees and ice-laden power lines.

A state of emergency has been declared across the region.

Rescue services and the army are scrambling to deal with the fallout. At least 150,000 homes have been left without electricity.

image copyrightReutersimage captionEmergency crew and the army have been deployed to deal with the storm's aftermathimage copyrightReutersimage captionThe storm brought freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures

"The situation with the electricity supply remains very difficult – the destruction is widespread," the deputy head of the region's government, Elena Parkhamenko, said.

She said electricity may not be restored to some homes for several days.

The chief of the regional meteorological service, Boris Kubay, said the situation has been "aggravated by a strong gale wind that breaks everything".

image copyrightReutersimage captionA state of emergency has been declared in Russia's Primorsky regionimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionThere were delays to public transport as roads were covered in snow

He said a clash between two storms, one carrying hot air and another carrying cold, caused freezing rain on Thursday.

The meteorologist said wires and trees were encrusted in ice up to 1.2cm (0.4in) thick, an occurrence not seen in 30 years.

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionLocal authorities told people to stay at homeimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAt least 150,000 homes in the region were left without power

Local media said some hospitals in Vladivostok, including one treating coronavirus patients, had to use back-up generators for electricity.

Power engineers were working to restore power to these hospitals, but recovery work has been complicated by snow and wind.

Meanwhile, there were long delays for public transport and flights as freezing conditions hampered travel.

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