Moscow hit by spring blizzard

Transports disrupted as Russian capital sees heaviest snowfall in 50 years.

    Road conditions were made worse by poor visibility, due to blowing snow [EPA]
    Road conditions were made worse by poor visibility, due to blowing snow [EPA]

    Moscow has been hit by its heaviest spring snowfall in 50 years. Twenty centimetres of snow fell on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

    This represents the largest accumulation in the March, April, May period since 1966.

    Although heavy snow in March is by no means unusual, there is a big decline in the number of days of snow between February (15 days) and March (nine days).

    More than 100 flights were cancelled, and another 120 delayed at the city’s three airports, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo. A further 80 flights were cancelled in the aftermath of the snowfall.

    On the roads, there were reports of almost 1,000 incidents and 28 people were reported to have been injured.

    Road conditions were made worse by poor visibility due to blowing snow, which made for blizzard-like conditions. There were also icy patches on some road surfaces.

    At one stage the cumulative length of all Moscow’s traffic queues was 3,400km. Fortunately, the Moscow Metro, Europe’s busiest, was largely unaffected by the bad weather.

    About 60,000 staff and more than 15,000 snow ploughs and snow blowers were deployed to deal with the situation. Moscow’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, said that it would take several days for the situation to return to normal.

    After a dry day on Thursday, there is a threat of further light snow on Friday and Saturday. These falls are not expected to hamper efforts to restore the city’s infrastructure.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.