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Bad weather creates a threat of food and fuel shortages in Yakutia

November 03, 2013, 1:07 UTC+3

The Russian Emergencies Ministry has already deployed its group in Yakutia

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ITAR-TASS/Anatoly Strunin

ITAR-TASS/Anatoly Strunin

MOSCOW, November 3 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov will chair a meeting of a working group of the governmental commission for emergency situations on Sunday to discuss the situation in Yakutia which may suffer a deficit of food and fuel because of weather conditions.

Irina Rossius, an official spokesperson for the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, told Itar-Tass that alongside with the Emergencies Ministry the working group comprised representatives of other Russian ministries and departments.

“They will work out additional measures to sustain daily life activities of the population and avoid food shortages in the republic’s northern regions,” Puchkov said.

Previously, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued an order to help three Yakutian districts suffering from bad weather and food shortages, Medvedev’s press secretary Natalya Timakova said.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry has already deployed its group in Yakutia. A group of the national crisis management center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry has also left for Yakutia. It is headed by Viktor Yatsutsenko. The group will have to assess the situation in remote villages in northern Yakutia where ice formation and shallow waters have created a threat of food and fuel shortages.

Besides, the Russian Emergencies Ministry is creating food reserves in Yakutia. An Illyushin-76 aircraft (IL-76) is about to leave Moscow for the Yakutian capital of Yakutsk. It will deliver over 40.5 tonnes of food, including baby mix, porridge, dry mixes, flour and canned food, to Yakutsk. Besides, a Mi-26 helicopter and an An-74 aircraft have been placed in operational readiness to airlift food to remote Yakutian villages.

Shallow waters and a short navigation period have made it impossible to bring in the required volumes of fuel and food to Yakutia. Anatoly Skrybykin, the deputy prime minister of Yakutia and chairman of the republican commission for emergency situations, said that the republic still had enough food and fuel.

“Yakutia has enough fuel for generating thermal and electric energy until the start of winter traffic and the opening of winter roads,” Skrybykin explained. He said that the remaining fuel would be transported by trucks on ice bridges.

“Essential foods are available in full volume. Planes are bringing in onions, cabbages and potatoes,” Skrybykin said.


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