Temperatures in some settlements of Russia’s Yakutia Republic may reach 60 degrees below zero Centigrade (-76F) during the next couple of days, an official spokesman for the Meteorological Department of Yakutia said.
“The temperature in the Tomponsky district of the republic fell below -50 degrees Centigrade on Sunday. This severe cold is rare for Yakutia in spite of the fact that the republic is considered Russia’s coldest inhabited territory. Winter temperatures normally reach 40-45 below zero,” the official said.
“This is not the lowest point. Thermometers may show 60 degrees below zero Centigrade during the upcoming several days in the settlement of Krestyakh,” the meteorologist said.
This year’s winter in Yakutia is a lot colder than usual: the republic sits on the way of cold Arctic air currents that reach the territory of the republic without any obstacles, and the air becomes even colder at nighttime under the clear sky.
All schools in Yakutia’s capital, the city of Yakutsk, were closed Monday due to severe cold - 51C below zero. Many classes were canceled last week too, when temperatures fell as low as 45C below zero.
Thirty-one apartment buildings in the towns of Tommot and Yakokit were cut from hot water and heat supplies because of a breakdown on the local heat supply system. Over 300 people have to live in the frozen apartments while over 120 workers try to take maximum efforts to repair the pipelines.
The Yakutia Republic is the largest subnational governing body by area in the world. Yakutia is washed by the Laptev and Eastern Siberian Seas of the Arctic Ocean – the coldest and the iciest waters in the northern hemisphere. About 40 percent of the republic lies above the Arctic circle and all of its is covered by permafrost.
Despite severe weather conditions, Yakutia is rich with raw materials. There are large reserves of oil, gas, gold, silver and many other materials in Yakutia. Almost 99 percent of all Russian diamonds are mined in Yakutia and make up 25 percent of the world’s diamond production.
Yakutia is known for its climate extremes, with the Verkhoyansk Range being the coldest area in the northern hemisphere. The Northern Hemisphere's Pole of Cold is at Verkhoyansk, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.8 ℃ (−90 ℉ ) in 1892, and at Oymyakon, where the temperatures reached as low as −67.7 ℃ (−89.9 ℉ ) in 1933.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23