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VLADIKAVKAZ, January 26 (Itar-Tass) - Both mountain pass roads linking Russia with the Trans-Caucasian region are closed due to the heavy snowfall, a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman in North Ossetia Yulia Starchenko told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
Due to the snowfall and the threat of avalanches and the impossibility to ensure safe transport traffic, the decision is taken to ban traffic across the checkpoints of Verkhny Lars and Nizhny Zaramag, she said.
Thus, the automobile transport links to Georgia and South Ossetia are closed until further notice.
Nine people were evacuated from the closed Trans-Caucasian road by the morning. They were blocked in two cars between two avalanches. The drivers went to the mountain section of the road before it was closed.
Rescuers opened warm stations for drivers near the checkpoints. As soon as the weather allows, snow masses will be fired at to cause controlled avalanches and the roads will be cleared of snow.