- Title: RUSSIA: Southern Russia hit by unusually cold temperatures
- Date: 13th February 2012
- Summary: NEAR NALCHIK, RUSSIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TOURISTS AND SOUVENIR SELLERS NEAR FROZEN CHEGEM WATERFALLS CHEGEM WATERFALL TOURISTS PLAYING AND TAKING PICTURES NEAR WATERFALL FROZEN WATERFALL VARIOUS TOURISTS AND SELLERS WATERFALL SOUVENIR SELLER LARISA ATABLYEVA SELLING WARES KNITTED SOCKS FOR SALE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SOUVENIR SELLER LARISSA ATABLYEVA, SAYING: "It's cold, unusually cold. In other cities it hasn't been this cold. This year it really is cold, but nonetheless we live at the expense of the market so we come here and sell our products." LAKE BEKAN RESERVOIR, RUSSIA (FEBRUARY 12, 2012 CAR ON ROAD WATER AND ICE ON LAKE VARIOUS LAKE WITH BIRDS VARIOUS SWANS ON LAKE WATER AND ICE AT LAKE EDGE VARIOUS BIRDS ON LAKE VARIOUS PICNIC SHELTERS ON LAKE SHORE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) LAKE BEKAN RESERVOIR WORKER ALLA KUDZIYEVA, SAYING: "I've worked here for 13 years and it's probably only the second time the lake has frozen during that time. The thickness of the ice has reached 20 cm. This has never happened that the lake has frozen so much. And this year the lake has frozen (up to) almost 90 percent." VARIOUS BIRDS ON LAKE LAKE WITH MOUNTAINS IN BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 28th February 2012 12:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Disasters,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA4YSIOR0IXJMER45IHUENMFRZL
- Story Text: Temperatures drop to unusual lows in Russia's south, freezing bodies of water and endangering the natural winter habitats of regional birds.
A cold snap in Russia's south has frozen waterfalls and lakes, endangering the winter water source for birds in Russia's North Caucasus region.
In the North Caucasus near Nalchik, the regional capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, the frozen Chegem waterfall along a mountainous road pass has become a place for tourists to stop and take pictures.
Russian Emergencies Ministry officials have warned that temperatures could reach as low as minus 27 degrees Celsius (-16.6 Fahrenheit) in the upcoming week.
Souvenir sellers near the falls are struggling to stay warm, and say the cold is unusual for the region this time of year.
"It's cold, unusually cold. In other cities it hasn't been this cold. This year it really is cold, but nonetheless we live at the expense of the market so we come here and sell our products," souvenir seller Larissa Atablyeva told Reuters.
At the Lake Bekan reservoir approximately 40 km from North Ossetian capital city, Vladikavkaz the climate is usually temperate, and the lake rarely freezes. This year, however, the ice is rapidly thickening and freezing, endangering the water source for birds who congregate there in the cold months.
"I've worked here for 13 years and it's probably only the second time the lake has frozen during that time. The thickness of the ice has reached 20 cm (7.8 inches). This has never happened that the lake has frozen so much. And this year the lake has frozen (up to) almost 90 percent," Alla Kudziyeva, a worker at the Lake Bekan Reservoir told Reuters on Sunday (February 12).
A cold spell - the worst February cold spell Europe has seen in decades - has killed hundreds of people across Europe. The temperature in some eastern countries has plummeted to nearly minus 40 degrees Celsius.
The frost, according to leading meteorologists, may last until the end of the month, raising the prospect of further deaths and an extended spike in European spot gas prices.
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