Vast oceanic cyclone engulfs Russian Far East

A vast oceanic cyclone engulfed the southern part of Russia's Far East, bringing snow-storms and gale-force winds with it. Talking to RIA Novosti, well-informed sources noted that strong winds (23 meters per second) were blowing over Sakhalin island, and that the area was also being swept by snow-storms. 17-19 mm of snow are expected to fall there.

The authorities on Sakhalin island don't consider such precipitation to be a problem; that's why the situation in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and other populated localities is being controlled accordingly, a duty officer said. The city's emergency services have been placed on red alert.

A powerful storm broke loose in the northern section of the Sea of Japan and in the Tartar strait, with north-eastern winds blowing at 30 meters per second on the high seas. Towering waves are also reported.

Most small fishing boats are hiding in coastal harbors, people from the fishing-fleet observation agency told RIA Novosti. Large fishing vessels are weathering the storm at sea. No distress signals have been received so far.