5 days without electricity or heat: Vladivostok locals resort to food kitchens after extreme weather cripples city infrastructure
Vladivostok, Russia's Far Eastern capital, is no stranger to extreme weather, but the latest situation has caught even its residents by surprise. In certain districts, where electricity and water have not yet been restored, the military is handing out food and water from temporary field kitchens. As of Sunday, despite power being returned to most homes, around 60,000 residents still remain without electricity. Other nearby cities, such as Artyom, are also affected.
In the days since the power cut, locals have complained about food shops being closed, and those that remain open have been quickly depleted. In some areas, ATMs are no longer working, and gas stations have run out of fuel.
“We've had no light at home since Thursday, and cold water was cut off for a day on Friday. Then the water was returned, but there was no electricity,” one resident, Oksana, told news outlet vl.ru “These conditions are very difficult with two children.”
Another local, Elena, told the same website that people have resorted to fighting over the last gas cylinders, and she had to travel two hours by bus just to charge her phone. The city is already notorious for its heavy traffic.Also on rt.com Freak weather triggers state of emergency in Russia's Far East, with freezing ice rain & plummeting temperatures
Speaking to Moscow daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, 31-year-old resident Vladimir noted that the return date of power and water is continuously postponed, and people in suburban districts are being left to fend for themselves.
“If everything is fine in the center of Vladivostok, that means no one cares about us, and we are ignored. Posts on social networks and complaints that we leave on the official city website are deleted,” he explained. “I didn't see any city services in our area. The roads are not cleaned. People have already stopped caring about fallen or overhanging trees and ice. Everyone dreams of just one thing: that apartments are given light and heat.”
Other Vladivostok residents have complained that local authorities have not yet cleared up the city's paths, causing more than 600 calls to the city's emergency services in just five days, as people slip on ice and trip over fallen trees.
According to local Governor Oleg Kozhemyako, the region of Primorye, of which Vladivostok is capital, needs generators and equipment to restore power lines. The federal Ministry of Emergency Situations has already announced that the area will receive eight diesel generators.
Speaking to the press on Monday afternoon, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the regional leadership “is making every possible effort to cope,” but the situation is so severe that “it cannot be done as quickly as we would like.” Peskov also noted that the federal government has created a special commission to work on fixing the crisis.
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