Nearly half a million Crimean residents have been left without electricity after an unprecedented “storm of the century” ripped through the Russian peninsula on Sunday. Authorities have declared a state of emergency across several municipalities, after one person was reportedly killed and ten others injured.
According to the scientific director of the Russian Hydrometeorological Center, Roman Vilfand, the storm reached speeds of up to 40 meters per second and was the most powerful ever recorded in Crimea.
Meteorologists have also warned that the situation may not improve until Wednesday, with winds along the Black Sea coast still reaching up to 26 meters per second and 25 meters per second in Crimea.
Residents reported on Sunday that strong winds had felled hundreds of trees and ripped the roofs off residential houses. Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the head of the Crimean Republic, also reported that 166 power transmission lines and 1,185 substations had been damaged, leaving 498,000 people without power. The storm also caused destruction to gas pipelines and flooding in the Evpatoria region, prompting the evacuation of citizens.
The head of the Crimean Republic, Sergey Aksenov, reported on Monday that the emergency services had been mobilized to fix electricity issues across the peninsula, stating that power was expected to be fully restored within two days.
In the port of Sevastopol, the largest city on the peninsula, governor Mikhail Razvozhaev stated that the storm had left over 500 marine animals dead after the local aquarium was flooded. Representatives of the facility told RIA Novosti that storm waves had poured into the facility through ventilation on the roof, killing many tropical freshwater fish, including 11 armored pike that lived in the aquarium for 20 years, as well as large piranhas that had been there for 15 years.
The director of the InBYUM Federal Research Center, Roman Gorbunov, also reported that the storm had destroyed the pier, lighthouse, and an oyster farm of the Institute of Biology of the South Seas in Sevastopol.
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