Russia is in the icy grip of its coldest December on record.
In Siberia, to the east, temperatures have plummeted to almost minus -60°C. In Magadan region, dozens of heavy vehicles have been trying unblock around 300km of roads covered by snow. In Tyva region, heating pipes have burst, meaning more than 3,000 people had to be evacuated.
“We’ve got nothing here. We don’t even have water,” said local resident Irina Bryarkina. “It’s good there has been lots of snow so we gather that snow in our garden and melt it. Do you understand we are freezing here? We have subzero temperatures in our flats. I measured the temperature in my room where I have small heaters, it is -2°C there. In the kitchen where I have a stove burning, it is minus -5°C.”
This cold snap has reportedly killed 123 people including seven in the last 24 hours.
Emergency services have organised evacuation points in schools and hospitals.
Aria Dagbaldai, who was sheltering with her family, said: “We’ve spent the second night in this school already. Conditions are good. It is warm here and there is some food.”
Emergency workers are trying to fix burst pipelines to restore heating while local authorities sent a plane with heaters and electric generators.