Ice-covered trees

Vladivostok left draped in ice after freak storms

Freak ice storms following an abnormal weather phenomenon have left 150,000 people without water and electricity in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and prompted a state of emergency.

The exceptional weather brought down cables and trees with the government of the Primorsky region declaring a state of emergency.

"The situation with the electricity supply remains very difficult -- the destruction is widespread," the regional administration's deputy head Elena Parkhamenko said.

She said it could take "several days" to restore power.

Freezing rain began pummelling the city of some 600,000 people overnight Thursday after a cyclone carrying hot air met an anticyclone carrying cold air, Boris Kubay, a local weather service official said.

He said in some places the resulting ice was 12 millimetres thick -- something not observed in the region in 30 years.