Source Pravda.Ru

Army Helps Frozen Russia

The houses of over 23 thousand people in 13 regions of Russia remain without heat supply because of failures at the heat supplying systems. The troubles are caused by sudden temperature differences. The situation is especially critical in the Russian republics of Karelia and Komi, in the Leningrad region where 142 blocks of flats are not heated.

The record low temperatures have been registered in several Russian regions within the past several days. The frost has been 45 degrees below zero Celsius in the republic of Karelia for almost a week already. Meanwhile, the communal services of the Karelian settlement of Muesersky are trying to deliver heat to the houses where 5 thousand people have to burn firewood in small stoves known in Russia as “burzhuika”. Deputy Chairman of the Karelian republican government, Alexander Mukhin says that heating radiators burst in many houses, the school and the central regional hospital were not heated. In despair because of the cold in their apartments, people organize protest meetings at the regional administrations. They ask the authorities to say when the apartments will be heated again and who is responsible for the frozen houses and the burst radiators. And Karelia is in for more strong frosts; the temperature of more than 40 degrees below zero Celsius is already registered in the northern parts of the republic.

Consequences of a cyclone, that raged in Sakhalin within several days, are being currently liquidated there. Six people were killed by the cyclone: three of them were poisoned with the exhaust of cars buried under the snow, two people froze to death and one was killed with an avalanche. 39 people were saved during search and rescue operations. Rescuers say the main objective today is to clear the streets and the roads off snow. There are no enough machines for effective work, however the situation is gradually improving. Power supply was restored in almost all of the settlements. The airport is already open in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov discussed the situation with heating in several regions of Russia at their recent meeting, presidential press-secretary Alexey Gromov informs. The president charged the prime minister with rendering of all kinds of assistance in the critical situation.

Under these difficult conditions, military men have come to the rescue as usual. The army actively helps the regions suffering from severe colds and from failures of the heating systems, RF Minister of Defense Sergey Ivanov informed President Putin on Wednesday. In his words, the commanders of the Leningrad and Far Eastern military circuits are ordered to help regional authorities with fuel delivery and liquidation of snowdrifts.

The temperature in Moscow is registered on a record low level: it may be even 37 degrees below zero Celsius in some parts of the Moscow region at night. It is about 25 degrees below zero Celsius in the Russian capital. Fortunately, the communal services successfully stood the frost.

Yegor Belous PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://economics.pravda.ru/economics/2003/7/23/69/5235_teplo.html

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