MOSCOW, February 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday discussed the problems caused by bitter frosts in the country and reprimanded the defense ministry for heat supply disruptions in military townships.
“We timely discussed (preparations for winter) with the defense minister and I drew his attention to the necessity to properly prepare for winter as disruptions (in supplies) took place also last year. So where is the result? Preparations for winter were unsatisfactory,” he said at a meeting in the emergencies ministry.
Two military townships in Murmansk region remained without heat supplies and Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said a week will be necessary to restore them.
“Two thousand people remained without heating,” Putin said and asked a representative of the defense ministry who of the deputy ministers is in charge of preparations for winter. The representative named Yuri Kuznetsov who replaced Noginsky who was appointed to another position on Thursday. However the official defense ministry website does not mentione Kuznetsov as a deputy minister.
“That’s the way he prepared for winter,” Putin said.
Shoigu reported 64 accidents across Russia and said abnormal temperatures hit nearly two thirds of the country. Most problems emerged in southern Krasnodar and Volgograd regions and Dagestan and in northern Murmansk region.
Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachev said gale winds and frosts were unprecedented in the region. “Nothing of the kind has happened in 40 years. The wind force in Novorossiisk and Anapa was 47 meters per second. It did a lot of harm and the seaport of Novorossiisk was closed. The city is beyond recognition. Thanks God, there were no casualties,” he said and estimated the damage at 220 million rubles.
Close to 170 thousand residents of the city remained without electricity and over 200 multi-apartment houses were damaged.
Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said electricity supplies may be reduced in Dagestan if the situation does not improve. “We will have to introduce planned cuts if the situation does not radically improve,” he said.
Dagestani President Magomedsalam Magomedov said abnormal frosts of minus 30 degrees Centigrade can damage vineyards. So far there were no cuts in electricity and gas supplies to households, he said.
First Deputy Volgograd Governor Gennady Churikov said heat and electricity supplies had been restored, but most problems emerged with road traffic because of heavy snow.
Murmansk Deputy Governor Igor Saburov said two thousand people in frozen military townships were resettled and work is underway to repair broken pipes and radiators.
Deputy head of the Russian weather service Valery Dyadyuchenko said frosts will be 8-10 degrees below the norm in Central Russia for at least another week. In the northwest and south of the country, in Volga area, southern Siberia and North Caucasus air temperature will be 4-6 degrees below the norm.
“As frosts are unlikely to end in the near future and the situation may even deteriorate I ask the heads of all communal services, health and rescue services to keep the situation under constant control,” Putin said.