YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, March 2. /TASS/. A state of emergency has been declared in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, on the Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, over a powerful cyclone, the local mayor’s office told TASS on Friday.
"Upon the decision of the commission for emergency situations in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, a state of emergency has been introduced. The situation in the city is challenging," a spokesperson said.
The cyclone has paralyzed transportation throughout Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Due to zero visibility, bus and train services have been halted. Several flights at the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport have been delayed or canceled.
Most citizens have decided against driving cars during the snowstorm. Many staff members of private companies stayed at home and civil servants went to work on foot.
Classes at local schools have been canceled, First Deputy Mayor Natalya Kuprina said. The authorities are monitoring the situation, and all forces and means of the city emergencies services have been on alert since Thursday afternoon to "deal with the possible aftermath of the cyclone," she said.
The powerful cyclone from China reached the Sakhalin Island overnight to March 2. According to meteorologists, the cyclone is now centered in the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. The gusts of wind reach 25 m/sec and the air temperature is minus 11 degrees Celsius (12.2 Fahrenheit).