Abnormally low winter temperatures in Russia continue to claim more and more lives. Twenty-one people froze to death in only one day; 147 others were hospitalized with frostbite. The cold weather in central Russia is not going to get any warmer soon. On December 19, the cold has reached St. Petersburg, where temperatures fell below -20 degrees Centigrade. It is 30 degrees below zero in the Ivanovo region, -22C in the Kaluga region, and -25 in Tver.
For the time being, the winter of 2012 has killed 45 people (266 have been hospitalized).
In Moscow, for example, the cold snap came on December 15 and will last until next Wednesday, forecasters say. At the weekend, night temperatures will drop to 26 degrees below zero Centigrade.
"The idea that alcohol warms people up from within in freezing weather is wrong. Alcohol only can only mislead people and their defenses - it can make people feel that they are warm. Alcohol is harmful in cold weather. One needs normal hearty food and warm clothing to be safe," Russia's Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said.
Very cold weather has come to almost the entire territory of Russia last week. Daytime temperatures vary from minus 17-20 in Moscow to minus 50 in Siberia. As usual, the Russians were not prepared to sudden cold.
In Novosibirsk, people have to live in cold apartments. Twelve apartment buildings on Nikitin Street were left without heating after a heat pipeline burst. Ecology in Siberian cities worsens considerably because of low temperatures. Many drivers do not shut off engines for the night to be able to use their cars in the morning. As a result, everything is shrouded in dense smog.
Yesterday in the city of Samara, where temperatures drop to minus 27 degrees for the second week already, 152 homes were left without heat. By lunchtime, temperatures in apartments dropped to +14 degrees Centigrade.
The town of Balashov, the Saratov region, with the population of 80,000 was left without water because of the cold snap. Ice from the local river plugged water pipes, forcing divers to fix the problem.
People suffer from cold in the city of Saratov, where water pipes began to burst. As many as 61 incidents were registered on the city's water pipe system. In 16 cases, water was flowing directly into the streets, turning roads into skating rinks.
A state of emergency occurred in Bashkortostan last week. A heat pipe burst in the center of the capital of Ufa. As many as 155 facilities and more than 9,000 people found themselves in the disaster zone. School classes were canceled. It took specialists nearly 24 hours to eliminate the consequences. Another part of Ufa was left without electricity for nearly 8 hours.
Five districts were left without electricity and heat in the Altai region of Russia. Nearly 8,500 people were left to the mercy of fate and extremely low temperatures.
In Makhachkala, the snowfall, which began on Saturday night and did not stop until Monday, paralyzed the work of public transport.