Alexandr Gorobets: The wrath of nature in Ukraine

This autumn, it was comparatively warm in Ukraine up to November 24. However, last weekend, in most of regions, wet snow was to be observed. On Sunday, in 12 of 25 Ukrainian regions, an emergency situation took place: simultaneously in the west, south, and in the center of the country. Snow and intensive wind at a speed of 15-20 meters per second were to be observed. At night on Sunday to Monday, 581 settlements were left without electricity. As a result of the almost all-round adhering snow, 848 electricity transmission lines and over 10,000 transformer substations were cut off. About 60 percent of the settlements were cut off from electricity as a result of the emergency protective systems of the electricity lines. The regions of Vinnitsa, Khmelnitski, Odessa, and Chernovtsy were damaged most of all. Today, 577 settlements and 333 electricity transmission lines are still without electricity. To provide them with energy according to a temporary plan, 34 autonomous sources of energy were implicated. According to the emergency office of the Vinnitsa regional administration, 396 settlements are left without electric power. One hundred nine brigades of the “Vinnitsaoblenergo” electricity company started to reverse the consequences of nature’s raging. On Monday, 77 settlements were still without electricity.

Sixty-five-year-old citizen of Vinnitsa, Valeri Kondrashov, probably most of all felt nature’s wrath. This weekend, he went by his boat to hunt for wild ducks near to Petrik village, Litinski region, Facty newspaper reports. He did not notice that the lake’s surface very quickly was covered with ice. After the pensioner felt something was wrong, he tried to row towards the shore; however, heavy winds forced the boat in the opposite direction. The man started immediately to split off ice with the scull, though the scull broke. The ice was too thin, so the hunter did not risk to go over it. He started shooting, hoping somebody would hear him.

Happily, his hopes were justified: soon a report about the unlucky hunter arrived to emergency office of the regional administration. Workers of detached emergency group arrived to help him. For several hours, they cut the 3-4-centimeter ice with axes, gradually nearing the hunter. Finally, they cut a path 400 meters long and led the boat into it. On shore, an ambulance was expecting him: the hunter was warmed up.

It may sound strange, but in the Odessa region, the southern districts were damaged more seriously. The region has not recovered yet from last year's cataclysm, and now it must again lift poles and establish new electricity lines.

Here, 245 settlements, including 205 agricultural plants, were left without electricity. For two days, workers of the regional emergency office were restoring injured communications. About 250 specialists (50 restoration brigades) and over 60 units of different equipment were involved in this work. Fortunately, there were no victims and no serious damage to buildings. The hydrometeorological service of Ukraine reported that the mighty snowfall and snowstorms were caused by an active cyclone that “visited” Ukraine last week. As a result, on November 26, the blanket of snow was 21 centimeters thick in the Odessa region, while in the Carpathian Mountains, it reached 63 centimeters. Today, the weather is normal in Ukraine. Life returns to its usual course.

Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

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