- Title: Plant collapse leaves thousands without heat in Siberian town
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: VIKHOREVKA, IRKUTSK REGION, RUSSIA (NOVEMBER 30, 2016) (REUTERS) RESIDENTIAL QUARTER COVERED IN SNOW PLAYGROUND COVERED IN SNOW WOMAN WALKING IN STREET FROZEN WINDOW RESIDENTIAL BUILDING STEAM COMING OUT OF HEATING PIPE VARIOUS OF VIKHOREVKA RESIDENT, EKATERINA, DRESSING UP HER 3-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, ALYONA WARM CLOTHES (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VIKHOREVKA RESIDENT, EKATERINA, SAYING: "We mostly prefer living in (the town of) Bratsk at our relatives' place instead of our own apartment, because it is cold in the apartment." EKATERINA'S HUSBAND SETTING UP HEATERS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VIKHOREVKA RESIDENT, EKATERINA, SAYING: "The child fell ill over 20 times in one year, because the feet are freezing. We put shoes on her feet, we put warm socks on, we dress her in warm sweaters, but it does not help. The child is still playing on the floor." VARIOUS OF HOUSE WITH FROZEN WINDOWS VARIOUS OF RUSTY HEATING PIPES ON GROUND DOG NEAR PIPES VARIOUS OF FROZEN DOOR INTO RESIDENTIAL BUILDING VARIOUS OF VIKHOREVKA RESIDENT, LARISA KALYADOVA, TOUCHING HEATER IN ROOM HEATER (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VIKHOREVKA RESIDENT, LARISA KALYADOVA, SAYING: "Our electricity network will fail when all the people turn their heaters on. It has happened multiple times. There was frost already. And when people turn their heaters on... some have one, some have two, but in the frost people turn them on more often and then we are left without electricity. Vikhorevka gets a blackout, and this is scary." IRKUTSK, RUSSIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) DEPUTY HEAD OF IRKUTSK REGION GOVERNMENT, RUSLAN BOLOTOV, AT MEETING WITH OFFICIALS SIGN ON MAP READING (Russian): 'IRKUTSK REGION (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEPUTY HEAD OF IRKUTSK REGION GOVERNMENT, RUSLAN BOLOTOV, SAYING: "The situation in the town of Vikhorevka remains complicated at the moment. Although we have formed five additional brigades, which deal with repair works at the heating station, we have detected problems in the town's utilities." VIKHOREVKA, IRKUTSK REGION, RUSSIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HEATING STATION VARIOUS OF EMERGENCY WORKERS AT STATION SPARKS COMING OUT OF FURNACE PRESSURE SENSOR VARIOUS OF ENGINES AT HEATING STATION SNOW FALLING OUTSIDE STATION
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 12:26
- Keywords: Russia frost emergency low temperature
- Location: IRKUTSK REGION AND IRKUTSK, RUSSIA
- City: IRKUTSK REGION AND IRKUTSK, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVA0015B6Y6NT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Residents of the Siberian town of Vikhorevka brave freezing temperatures in their homes after the breakdown of an outdated heating station left them at the mercy of the severe winter weather.
The town, which lies outside the larger city Bratsk and over seven hours drive from the regional capital of Irkutsk, has a population of over 21,000 people.
Most of them keep several electric heaters in their houses, as a way to protect themselves from the frequent break-downs at the local boiler station.
"We mostly prefer living in (the town of) Bratsk at our relatives' place instead of our own apartment, because it is cold in the apartment," said the town's resident Elena dressing her 3-year-old daughter, Alyona, in several layers of warm clothing.
Locals say they this is not the first tough winter season they have suffered. The boiler station that provides heating for over 150 apartment blocks and private houses, five schools and two hospitals continued working until recently three of four boilers broke.
Emergency service workers arrived to Vikhorevka for urgent repairs, while the normal day temperatures fell to minus 14-15 degrees Celsius.
"The situation in the town of Vikhorevka remains complicated at the moment," said Ruslan Bolotov deputy head of Irkutsk region government, adding that this did not solve the problems of the town.
The boiler station and the town's heating infrastructure are in need of a thorough overhaul, the official said. Local media also quoted him as saying that since 2010 the administration provided over 100 million roubles (over 1.5 million USD) for the preparation of the town for winter, however it is not known what the money was spent on.
The mayor of Vikhorevka is now facing administrative charges in relation with the emergency.
In the meantime locals set up heaters to stand up against the plight on their own, a solution that can prove risky once everyone employs it.
"Our electricity network will fail when all the people turn their heaters on. It has happened multiple times," said resident Larisa Kalyadova.
"[I]n the frost people turn them on more often and then we are left without electricity. Vikhorevka gets a blackout, and this is scary."
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