A violent storm hit Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula. Nearly 2 million people are currently without electricity in Russia and occupied Ukraine.
Violent gusts of wind and giant waves crashing onto highways: a storm hit southern Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula, causing major power cuts, local authorities announced Monday, November 27.
Nicknamed “storm of the century” and “mega-storm” by Russian media, bad weather began to rage this Sunday, November 26, according to emergency services.
State of emergency declared in Crimea
In Crimea, the Black Sea overflowed onto highways, with Russian television broadcasting images of waves crashing into cars trying to cross the water. Crimean Governor Sergei Aksionov announced on Telegram that he had declared Monday a non-working day due to bad weather. He also declared a state of emergency in several regions of this annexed peninsula in 2014.
“We have experienced a real Armageddon,” Crimean Parliament Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov told Russian TV channel Rossia 24.
“Residents don’t remember seeing such powerful winds and waves until now,” he continued. In Sochi, bad weather disrupted rail traffic due to trees falling on the railway tracks. Images broadcast by the Nexta news agency show a powerful wave which “washed away the railway line and flooded the first floors of high-rise buildings”.
This storm caused power cuts and around 400,000 people remained without electricity this Monday morning in Crimea, “due to an uninterrupted hurricane”, according to the energy company Krymenergo, cited by Russian news agencies.
HAS SevastopolMore than 500 marine animals were killed in the flooding of the local aquarium caused by the storm, city governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on Telegram.
According to him, the weather forecast is hardly reassuring at the moment, with rain, snow and wind gusts of up to 30 meters per second expected this Monday in Crimea.
Traffic disrupted, seaside resorts affected…
In the Krasnodar region, which is home to the seaside resorts of Sochi and Anapa, very popular with Russians, hundreds of trees as well as numerous metal constructions equipping the beaches were uprooted by the wind during the night from Sunday to Monday , causing injuries, the agency said. local branch of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.
In Vitiazevo, near Anapa, the storm caused the grounding of a large cargo ship flying the Belizean flag, the Blue Shark, according to the same source.
In Novorossiysk, also in the Krasnodar region, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium announced that it was suspending oil loading and sheltering its tankers due to “extremely unfavorable weather conditions”: wind gusts of up to 86 km/h and waves reaching 8 meters high.
Ukraine is also affected
Neighboring Ukraine is also facing bad weather, with a snowstorm leaving more than 2,000 towns without power and blocking highways, authorities said Monday in the country, whose power system is already under pressure from Russian bombing.
Ukraine fears a new campaign of massive Russian strikes targeting its essential infrastructure this winter, as in 2022 when these attacks plunged millions of people into cold and darkness.
“A total of 2,019 settlements in 16 regions are without electricity,” Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said.
The storm created chaos on the roads, 1,370 trucks were forced to “temporarily stop” and 840 vehicles had to be towed, he added.
In the southern city of Odessa, regularly targeted by Russian attacks, authorities said they had provided assistance to 1,624 people trapped by snow. Temperatures fell below zero degrees and strong gusts of wind were recorded, according to the same source.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had already spoken of “extremely difficult weather conditions” on Sunday, announcing that several hundred localities were without electricity.
“We must be particularly grateful to all those who defend our country and carry out offensive operations in such difficult conditions,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).
“I thank all the rescuers, public service agents, national police, local authorities and engineers who are working 24 hours a day to help the population,” he said on Monday.
The national operator Ukrenergo reported last week a “difficult” situation for the electricity network due to the increase in consumption linked to the drop in temperatures, pushing it to urgently import electricity from three neighboring countries.