MOSCOW: At least one person died and several were injured after Moscow experienced its heaviest day of snowfall since records began, the city’s mayor and agencies said Sunday.
Russia’s meteorological service said Moscow had seen more than half its average monthly snowfall in the space of 24 hours, with 17 inches blanketing the capital by Sunday morning, agencies reported.
“One person died from a falling tree that hit an electric power line,” Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on his VKontakte social media page, adding that 2,000 trees had already been brought down by the extreme weather.
“According to the latest information, five have been injured. Be careful. The forecast says the weather will get worse,” he later said via Twitter, warning of strong winds to come.
Nearly 150 flights were delayed and dozens cancelled at the city’s airports.
“There will be a blizzard, poor visibility… heavy snowfall on the roads,” said meteorologist Evgueni Tichkovets, quoted by news agency Ria Novosti.
Nearly 70,000 City Hall employees have been mobilised to clear snow off the roads and authorities have asked people to avoid driving.
Earlier an official from Moscow’s meteorological office told Interfax news agency the equivalent of 14 millimetres of water had fallen in 12 hours on Saturday, topping a previous record from 1957.