‘Arctic invasion’: Huge winter storm, freezing rain wreaks havoc in Moscow (PHOTOS)

Snowfall and freezing rain have battered Moscow, with roads sheathed in snow and travel disrupted. Dubbed by meteorologists the ‘Arctic invasion,’ the extreme weather has turned the city into an unexpected winter wonderland.

A tree branch laden with snow killed one and injured two in the Russian capital on Saturday, the capital’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote on his VKontakte social network page. He said that the weight of the snow had caused some 2,000 trees to fall across the city. 

Moscow was hit by two separate cyclones, one from the north-west and the other from the Mediterranean region, Tatyana Pozdnyakova from Moscow Meteorological Bureau told TASS, adding that the capital is indeed experiencing an “Arctic invasion.” 

More than 150 flights have been delayed so far at Moscow’s airports, according to Yandex.Timetables online service.

The storm dumped more than 43cm of snow on Moscow and the precipitation continues, according to Sunday’s data from Gidrometcentr, the Russian national meteorological service.

Heavy snowfall has closed roads and caused chaos in the European part of Russia. Over 40,000 people were left without power in the Kaluga, Vladimir, Tula, Smolensk and Bryansk regions, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement.
The storm warning remains in force in the capital till Monday evening, Russia’s EMERCOM said in statement, calling upon Muscovites to stay at home and park their vehicles away from trees. 

In the meantime, people are sharing photos and videos on social media, saying that they woke to a carpet of snow this weakened. “Snowy and white shimmering Moscow. We have a real winter,” one woman from the Moscow suburbs wrote on Instagram.

Others were less optimistic, complaining of fallen trees and cars in snowbanks. “Nature has gone wild,” one person noted.

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