Wintry weather is taking its toll in Russia where a cold snap has seen temperatures plunge to minus 57 degrees Celsius.
And, as if coping with the big chill wasn’t enough, the people of the village of Yeletskiy faced an additional problem. The central boiler that provides their heating broke down. “It is cold inside. The radiators are not working,” said one female resident. “Everything is frozen. We only have light. No water.” Repair teams later restored power to the stricken village but only after a major evacuation plan had swung into action. Moscow is shivering too, with temperatures of minus 37 degrees celsius forecast in the capital. It is feared the Soviet-era electricity network there may not be able to cope but authoritites have reassured people that residential buildings will be spared any power cuts. Measures have also been taken to protect those living on the streets, including the granting of permission for them to sleep in stations and subways. Health services too have been put on alert with medical squads sent on patrol to help anyone in difficulty.