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Russia’s Sakhalin island cut from mainland due to strong snow cyclone

December 15, 2013, 10:48 UTC+3 YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK
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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, December 15, (ITAR-TASS). Hundreds of passengers cannot leave Sakhalin Island and Kurile Islands in Russia’s Far East for the second day in succession due to a strong snow cyclone, about 300 more passengers are waiting for flights on the island at the backup airport in the city of Khabarovsk, Russia’s Far East.

“The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport is suspended for arrivals and departures,” the flight controlling service of the Khabarovsk airport told Itar-Tass.

“Two airplanes from the Moscow airports Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo are staying at the Khabarovsk airport. The airliners had to make the landings at 11:06 local time (06:06 Moscow time) and at 12:28 local time (07:28 Moscow time) at the crash stripes of the airport,” the airport’s controlling service reported.

“The airport in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk will be closed until 18:00 local time (13:00 Moscow time), as the runway cannot be cleaned up over the bad weather,” the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk air harbour said.

Dozens of people are waiting for their flights at the airport in the Sakhalin main regional city. Those passengers who failed to fly to Moscow, Russia’s capital, were accommodated at the neighbouring hotel.

From the moment of time the main air harbour in the region had been suspended, more than 65 flights bound for Moscow, Khabarovsk and Seoul were delayed. The local flights were delayed to the airport Okha in the northern part of Sakhalin Island and in Yuzhno-Kurilsk on the Kuril island of Kunashir.

The weathermen reported that the cyclone will have reached the central Kurile islands on Monday. The snowfall will subside on Sakhalin Island and a slight blizzard is forecast. The wind velocity makes about 15 meters per second in the southern part of the island, the air temperature is 2-3 degrees Celsius and the snow does stop.

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