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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Tuva covered by a snowstorm

Squall winds with snow covered the republic late at night of March 18. The wind speed reached storm condition at times, and the snowfall was so strong, that visibility on highways was under 5 meters. Drivers simply could not continue driving and had to stop and get off the roads. In the conditions of disaster power outage in Kyzyl, the lights remained on only in some sections of Chuldum Street, where the lights are powered by solar batteries. As the meteorology center of Tuva announced, the snowfall during these 24 hours was about equal to a full month’s amount.

The strong storm in Tuva caused disaster power outages in Kyzyl and in five districts of the republic – Kyzyl, Kaa-Khem, Tes-Khem, Bai-Taiga and Ovyur.

Just before the storm, an avalanche buried 110 km of the road between Khandagaity to Mugur-Aksy in Mongun-Taiga district, and the road was impassable for two days. Just as the road was finally cleared, it was buried again by impassable snow drifts from the storm. As the chief of department of roads and transportation, Miron Suge, explained, the road technicians are still working on clearing the road. The snow accumulation also blocked two mountain passes, cutting off the villages Torgalyg in Ovyur district and Kyzyl-Khaya in Mongun-Taiga. The work is continuing there as well.

The storm caused complications with transportation within the city streets in Kyzyl on March 18. GIBDD registered 3 vehicular accidents, fortunately without human casualties. Snow clearing technicians continued their operations all night, but today the city services asked the population for help – students of Kyzyl institutions of higher learning had to come out to help clear the snow.

The Minpromenergo of Tuva took control over the power supply disaster situation of populated areas. Four repair teams and a special operative group were deployed to correct the emergency in Kyzyl. In the south, west, and east directions of the republic, four operative teams were sent out.

As the press-secretary of Tyvaenergo Maksim Eksekov announced, according to the data of 16:00 hours on March 19, four settlements of the Tandy district, three in Bai-Taiga, and a small residential area in Kyzyl were still without power,. The disruptions of the power supply were ascribed to the strong winds and the anomalous unseasonable snowfall by the energy specialists.

The elements have presented serious problems to the animal herders of Tuva, who are now right in the middle of the breeding season. The roads to the shepherd stations are blocked by impassable snow drifts, and trucks with feed for the animals cannot get through. According to the ministry of agriculture and animal husbandry, the administration of the Mongun-Taiga district declared a regime of emergency situation to organize the rest of the population to go to the shepherds’ help.

Today morning, the air temperature rose sharply. In the capital, the thermometer showed -2 degrees of cold. Oldtimers believe that this winter, which was exceptionally cold and brutal, does not want to give up its position.

Photos: Kyzyl, March 18, 21:30; Kyzyl 22:00; ul. Krasnykh Partizan in the morning of March 19; snowdrifts on the morning of March 19.

Info from, translated by Heda Jindrak, Photos by Dina Oyun
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