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Snow Storm - Europe - Ukraine

Ukraine Severe // Winter Storm
A heavy snowstorm has wreaked havoc on many Ukrainian regions Thursday leaving thousands of cars and trucks stuck on highways between cities for hours with authorities sending emergency crews to save lives. Snowstorms, strong winds and freezing temperatures will probably persist in most of Ukrainian regions over the next three days, according to the forecast by the national weather center. The city of Odessa, which appears to be one of the worst hit by the snowstorm, declared an emergency Thursday by asking its residents to stay at home when possible to let the authorities remove snow. The traffic stopped between Odessa and other major cities in the region, such as Mykolayiv and Illichivsk, with hundreds of cars and trucks buried in the snow for hours. “Our snow removing equipment has failed,” Anatoliy Vorokhayev, the deputy mayor of Odessa, said at press conference Thursday. He added that 90% of snow fell late Wednesday. At least 3,000 people were rescued as 2,000 cars and 100 buses had been pulled out of snow over the past 24 hours, according to the Odessa city authorities. Meanwhile, almost 700 cars and trucks appear to be stuck on the highway between Kherson and Mykolayiv, according to Boris Silenkov, the governor of the Kherson region. Many cars started to run out of gasoline as motorists kept engines running for hours to warm up passengers as air temperature had dropped to below 20 degrees Celsius. Some people have been reported abandoning their cars and walking to the city through the snowstorm along the highway. The Kherson authorities have been sending crews delivering emergency stocks of gasoline to motorists to prevent freezing, while evacuating the most vulnerable. “Two pregnant women and six families with children have been evacuated,” Silenkov said. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s major oil terminals near the Black Sea port of Odessa continued operation Thursday even as some cargo handling facilities have briefly shut down due to a heavy snowstorm. Odessa oil terminal, which is exporting Russian crude, and Pivdenniy oil terminal, which is exporting Russian oil and importing crude from Azerbaijan, continue to operate as scheduled, officials at both terminals said. “Everything goes in line with schedule,” an official at Pivdenniy said. “We don’t plan to shut down unless the snowstorm worsens.” Odessa and Ilichivsk ports have briefly stopped handling cargo on Wednesday due to heavy snow and strong wind in the region, according to the emergency ministry.
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