Vladimir Putin sets task to railway minister to control progress of restoration works in calamity zone

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the task to Russian Railway Minister Gennady Fadeyev to personally control the progress of railroad restoration in the calamity-ravaged Southern Russia, Presidential Press Secretary Alexei Gromov was quoted as saying on Friday.

Fadeyev's scope of responsibility also includes rendering assistance to the passengers who have got stuck at railway stations and on trains.

An extremely strong cyclone disrupted the railroad communication in the Krasnodar region. According to the PR department of the Russian Railway Ministry, about 45 passenger trains have been trapped at various stations of the North Caucasian railroad.

On Thursday, water flows flooded the rail bottleneck of the Novorossiisk station, which resulted in the collapse of a bulkhead of the Tonnelnaya station and subsequent entrapment of five passenger trains bound from Krasnodar.

The authorities have evacuated the passengers by buses.

According to the Passenger Traffic Department of the Russian Railway Ministry, on Thursday trains travelling southward were 24-27 hours late.

Responsible services are supplying passengers with hot food. Foodstuffs are primarily being delivered to trains with children groups, while passengers waiting for their trains to arrive have lounges at their disposal.

All railway stations are operating in the round-the-clock mode, mobile hospitals have been deployed.

Experts believe it will take the authorities up to three days to restore the traffic.