"We live in hell as in war": how the residents of Primorye bear lockdown

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"We live in hell as in war": how the residents of Primorye bear lockdown
"We live in hell as in war": how the residents of Primorye bear lockdown
24 November 2020, 16:52SocietyPhoto: Восток-Медиа
For almost a week, tens of thousands of residents of the Primorsky Territory have been left without heat and electricity. The reason for this is the bad weather. The nets could not withstand heavy rainfall in the form of rain and snow and stormy winds.

Elimination of the consequences is carried out around the clock, but they have not yet been completed. More details can be found in the material of Novye Izvestia.

Daria Voznesenskaya

Bad weather began to rage in Primorye on the evening of November 18. The next morning, roads, buildings, trees, power lines, etc. covered with ice glaze. Since the start of the ice storm, more than 600 people have sought medical attention with bruises and fractures. In addition, some objects simply could not withstand the load - during the bad weather, about 5 thousand trees fell, nearly 100 km of power lines and 850 power transmission towers were damaged, and more than 1600 transformer substations were out of order. According to Primhydromet, the thickness of the icing of wires and trees reached abnormal values - 12 mm. The situation was complicated by a stormy wind.

I was forced to leave the house to take a walk with the dog. The dog was shocked by the weather, but even without this the walk would have been short-lived: a tree fell next to us, and I decided to go home as soon as possible", - a local resident told VostokMedia.

By the way, on November 19, a reinforced concrete slab collapsed from the roof of a house in Vladivostok, crushing a Nissan X-Trail car parked at the entrance. The car owner managed to run away and was not injured. During the check, the investigators established that on the roof of the multi-storey building there was a reinforced concrete shaft, consisting of three walls and a floor slab. “At the same time, transit cable lines of Internet providers are placed on the roof of the house, attached to the side frames of the mine entrance structure, as well as racks for fastening these lines. Transit wires ran through several houses. As a result of rain, icing and strong winds, the wires swayed, and an asymmetric load arose on the side walls of the mine, as a result of which the structure was formed. During the destruction, a slope was created, which led to the displacement of the plate and its fall", - explained to journalists in the local UK.

And this is not all the troubles that the residents of Primorye had to endure. For example, it took car owners a long time to unfreeze their cars. Some poured hot water over their cars, others tapped them. And one of the resourceful Primorsky cleaned the car with an ax. After the car owners managed to get into their cars, they found a second glass - ice, which had to be broken.

And people left without water supply were forced to melt ice and snow. One of the photos posted on the social network shows that even the toilet was clogged with snow. “Today we also solved the problem - we trained half the bath”, - wrote one of the netizens. “I did that too today, it's useless. With 5 liters of snow, 2 cm of water yield”, - added another. “And at our house the “dubak” (freezing cold) will not melt”, - said the third.

Also, a difficult situation has developed in the healthcare sector. For example, an outpatient infectious disease center was forced to suspend operations. Electricity supply to Vladivostok and Artem hospitals was provided by generators; the problem of lack of water supply was solved by additional supply of bottled water. In this regard, the routing of test delivery to PCR laboratories has been changed, as well as delivery of patients to medical facilities.

To date, water supply in the Primorsky Territory has been restored, heat supply is not yet everywhere: on Monday, 19.2 thousand people were left without it. The situation with energy supply is much more complicated; 95 thousand residents of the region still do not have it. Rapid elimination of outages was prevented by continuous wet precipitation and wind for two days. “It's elementary that people cannot climb onto high-voltage poles, they are simply blown away by the wind, because of the difficult terrain, autotowers also cannot drive up to damage sites everywhere, and where they drive in, they cannot work, as there is a risk of overturning. Damage can not be detected quickly everywhere, because power engineers are often looking for cliffs on foot, because even high-pass vehicles cannot pass”, - said Yelena Parkhomenko , Deputy Prime Minister of Primorye on November 20.

According to her, there were often repeated accidents in the same areas or adjacent to them. The largest accident - the fall of the towers - occurred on the 220 kV lines Vladivostok - Zeleny Ugol, Volna - Zeleny Ugol.

According to the chief forecaster of the region, Boris Kubay, the cause of the abnormal weather phenomenon lies in the collision of cold and warm air masses: the cyclone brought out heat from the south, and the anticyclone brought cold. “The last time I saw such ice in Odessa was in 1974, but I have not seen anything like this either on Sakhalin or in Primorye for all the years of work”, - said Kubay.

In connection with the current situation, on November 20, an emergency regime of a regional scale was introduced in the Primorsky Territory. “This simplifies the management of all forces and means of different levels of government on the territory of Primorye. Second, it allows us to use the funds of the regional reserve fund to eliminate the consequences of emergencies, as well as to give instructions to the executive authorities to solve the tasks set”, - said Dmitry Mariza, Deputy Prime Minister of the Primorsky Territory.

The governor of the region, Oleg Kozhemyako, headed the work on coordinating the actions of the municipal operational headquarters and all the services involved in eliminating the consequences of the disaster. On his instructions, about 30 field kitchens were deployed in the cities most affected by the disaster - Artyom and Vladivostok, as well as temporary accommodation centers - there people could eat, charge devices and warm up. In addition, more than 130 heating points have been opened on the territory of the region.

On November 21, the authorities had to close traffic on the bridge to Russky Island in Vladivostok. After the freezing rain, a thick ice layer formed on the cables of the crossing, and with warming large pieces of ice began to freeze and fall onto the roadway. People, worried that they would not have time to cross to the mainland, recorded the appeal and posted it on the Internet. In response, the authorities organized a ferry service from early morning until late at night. On average, one voyage of the Vostochny Bosphorus ferry can accommodate about 20 cars, so on November 21 a huge queue of cars formed on Russky Island. At the same time, almost 4.5 thousand people and 326 vehicles were transported there and back on November 23. Traffic on the bridge will remain closed until at least Wednesday 25 November.

Rescuers from Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk and Birobidzhan were sent to help in the elimination of emergency situations in the Primorsky Territory. In total, more than two thousand people are involved in the elimination of the consequences - employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Primorye and neighboring regions, as well as emergency rescue services, employees of the DRSK and other specialists. Even the deputies of the Primorsky Legislative Assembly got involved in the work. In particular, they cleared the territory of school No. 39, which houses a temporary accommodation center for people affected by the emergency.

In addition, on November 22, three mobile power plants with a capacity of 100, 120 and 200 kilowatts came from the Khabarovsk Territory to Primorye. On the same day, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin instructed the Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Alexey Chekunkov, to go to Primorye to provide assistance on the ground and coordinate work. Together with this, two Il-76 aircraft delivered eight diesel generators of Rosrezerv to the capital of Primorye. The generators also came from neighboring regions.

Arriving at the scene, Chekunkov called the disaster and the damage it caused "unprecedented" and stressed that the primary task is to help the region as much as possible with federal resources. “We see what efforts are being made by the Primorye government, the governor. But the edge needs more help. Together, it is necessary to do so to provide full resources for restoration", - said the head of the Ministry of Eastern Development.

To date, power engineers have managed to restore the operation of 25 35-110 kV power lines and 28 35-110 kV substations. According to the headquarters, on November 24, almost 95 thousand people remain without electricity in Primorye, of which about 62 thousand are in Vladivostok and about 25 thousand are in Artem. The authorities promise that the light will appear in all Artyom's apartment buildings within two days. To speed up the process of restoring Russky's infrastructure, Kozhemyako ordered to provide emergency teams with conditions for a comfortable overnight stay on the island - workers will be accommodated in one of the local schools. Electricity supply in Churkin may return tomorrow, November 25.

It will take us a long time to restore the constant power supply. During start-up, the lines will be reconnected. Now we have no right to leave people without heat and light even for a day. We will turn to the Government Commission to keep the entire resource installed at boiler houses and pumping stations here in reserve”, - said the Governor of Primorsky Territory.

According to preliminary information, the damage from the disaster is estimated at 80 million rubles. “We have this money. For this, there are reserves. But these are only top-priority expenses. The figure is likely to be much higher. And since the decision has been made to declare a regional emergency, we will go to the federal level and apply for financial assistance”, - explained Vera Shcherbina, Prime Minister of the Primorsky Territory.

The Kremlin believes that "the region's leadership is making every possible effort to cope" with the consequences of the disaster. “The ice storm was very strong, and it caused colossal damage to the city's infrastructure, be it energy or other areas of housing and communal services. These consequences, unfortunately, are still felt today", - Kommersant quotes the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.

Everything, however, is rather sad. It is clear that the phenomenon is unique. It is clear that nothing like this has happened over the past 40 years. The collision of warm cold air is all understandable. But. The problem is that five days have already passed, and the city has not yet been put in order. This is a question for the work of utilities. Residents, well done, clean the yards on their own. Otherwise, it is impossible to walk. The second day in the city of traffic jams - 10 points. We have no alternative, like Moscow and St. Petersburg, in the form of a metro. So the trip home for most of the townspeople becomes just a quest. For many hours. The relief also complicates - the hills that are not strewn become a real skating rink. And this is not the place where you want to be in a car. The work of a number of providers also raises questions. In fact, the Internet in most homes disappeared on the day of a snowfall, as the cable was cut, and in many places it has not appeared yet. Yes, of course, these are trifles. But these little things make up life. It is clear that the authorities are now doing their best. The medical unit has been working practically for days on the restoration of the collapsed power lines. And yes, it somehow reconciles with the situation”, - Olga Kiktenko, editor-in-chief of VostokMedia, told Novy Izvestia. She hopes that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the situation will return to normal.

From the diary of a resident of one of the most affected neighborhoods - Churkin - published on VostokMedia:

Day one. Not for fun. The elements cleared up in earnest ... They let go of work an hour and a half earlier, but I don't want to go home at all, so what to do there? There is no light, no water, no heat. The only thing that made him return to his native walls as soon as possible was the dog waiting in the dark and cold.

I am driving along the "Golden Bridge", one half of which is bright and light, and the other is all black. The only light sources on Churkin are the headlights of passing cars. The area is similar to Mordor.

I go up to the houses on Kashtanovaya and observe a picture of fallen branches, dangling wires and an ice crust on the road. There are no people. The phrase “they were blown away by the wind” takes on new colors.

I wanted to see when they promised to turn on the light and give warmth, but my hands were frozen. The cell phone is unforgiving and refuses to look for the network. Really apocalypse. If something happens, you will not get through to anywhere. Not to mom, not to dad, not to work...".

Day two. There is no hope. As always, I wake up at 5 am for a walk with the dog. It's dark in my window, it's dark outside my window, and it's dark in the neighboring houses too. I understand that nothing has changed that night, except that the apartment has become colder.

In the hope that there is light, heat and the Internet at work, I get out of the area. I leave the car in the parking lot - overnight it turned into a beautiful statue glazed with ice. Fortunately, a colleague lives nearby, and she drove. The work did not justify expectations - the office is also cold and there is no light.

They let me go [home]... The candles were all burned out, and the batteries of the lanterns ran out. Restoration of light, heat and water is promised by tomorrow morning. But, as they said in one popular video: I don’t trust anyone, I don’t hope for anything and I don’t expect anything... Dirty dishes and unwashed floors begin to irritate”.

Day three. Cold sun. Knock-Knock. There is still no heat, light and water. The neighbors went out to collect the still clean snow in buckets to melt the houses. They say that snow is lighter than water, so it is much easier to drag to the 9-10th floor.

Cellular communication is not working. It is impossible to get through to mom and dad while in your apartment. An elderly mother has been sitting for the second day alone without light and with a dead phone. I can't get to it yet - a taxi is very expensive, and the car is still one side in the ice...”.

The fourth day. Like after the war. I didn't spend the night in the apartment - I went to my mother's center. There is at least warmth and cold water. And at night they also gave electricity. Generally, grace.

People are queuing with empty containers. The hucksters immediately launched a trade, who offer gas cylinders and candles at an inflated price to the Churkinsky residents ... Passing this whole picture, I go up to the house. The wire both hung over the road and hangs.

It's cold at home. I don't want to undress at all. And take off your shoes too. Without movement, you start to freeze very quickly.

Gas is running out. You need to go to those who sell packages of cylinders with blue fuel and candles. It came out 400 rubles for 4 gas cylinders. I don't know if it's a lot or a little. There is nowhere to go anyway...”.

Day five. Icy hell. In the morning nothing changes: everything is also dark in the house, outside the window, in the neighboring houses. I remember a phrase from some Russian fairy tale: "Liberty, or no liberty - it makes no difference".

It begins to sore throat and itchy nose. There is neither the time nor the opportunity to heat the teraflu water. You have to go to work.

Last night, a man on the ground floor warmed himself with his friend in a wheelbarrow, charged his phone and drank beer. New realities - new opportunities for Sunday "fun"...".

Day six. There is hope. Water appeared in the tap. I don't understand of what color it is, but I feel that it is terribly icy...

Internet appears in the parking lot. The telegram channels write that one power line support has already been installed at the Morskoye Cemetery. It means that soon it will be possible to drink hot tea, wash the dishes, wash things and just wash yourself like a human...”.

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