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Probe into why thousands suffered electricity cuts in minus 40C temperatures

By The Siberian Times reporter
04 January 2013

An investigation is underway in Tyva region over thousands of people being left without heating in temperatures of minus 40C.

Reports say around 3,300 residents were affected and hundreds still remain without power in the fierce cold.  Picture: The Siberian Times

In a sequence of power cuts, the first outage in Khovy-Aksy came on December 20 which took two days to repair. A day later there was another accident at the power plant, leaving 103 buildings - mainly apartment blocks - without heat or hot water. 

Reports say around 3,300 residents were affected and hundreds still remain without power in the fierce cold. 

Now the head and deputy head of the local administration face an official probe for 'failing to perform, or failing to properly perform, official duties, where this causes major damage or substantial violation of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens', says a statement from the local Investigatiev Committee. 

A huge regional and national operation swung into action to help the residents who were mainly evacuated from the acute cold in their homes. 

Most stayed with relatives in other areas but as many as 600 people were housed in temporary accommodation. Almost 700 residents remained in their homes and were supplied with emergency heaters and firewood. 

Emergency repairs involving a 600-strong team have led to heating being restored to more than half the buildings - but a RIA Novosti report said on Friday that some 44 buildings still remain without power. 

'An investigation into the incident indicated that two boilers experienced 'technical failure', and the backup also failed,' said the report. 

In late December, ahead of the New Year holiday, an Antonov-74 plane from the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations airlifted in 60 'potbelly' stoves from Irkutsk to Kyzyl, the Tyva capital. Emergency supplies also arrived from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Altai and Khakassia. 

As well as official help there was impressive help from people in many areas concerned about the plight of the residents of Khovy-Aksy.

Comments (1)

Did I read this right? Minus 40 and no electricity??? aren't people already dead? I can't live when we get frosts and need to turn up the gas heater to high - but no heating in minus 40 i can't even imagine
Tina, England
05/01/2013 00:33
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