Storm leaves thousands without power in Crimea

People watch and film waves crashing against a seafront in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi during a storm on November 27, 2023.

Over 400,000 people in Crimea were left without power on Monday, after hurricane force winds and heavy rains battered the Russian-annexed peninsula over the weekend.

One local official said a man on the peninsula’s southern coast was killed, according to early reports, while wind speeds of over 140 kilometres per hour (about 90 mph) were recorded in some places.

“The man went out to look at the waves and, unfortunately, tragically died,” Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the region’s Russian-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov, said on state television.

“To date about 425,000 people remain without electricity. About 500 trees have fallen,” Aksyonov said in an address Monday.

“It is planned to restore electricity throughout the territory of the Republic within two days,” he said, adding that emergency services had been “mobilised”.

Crimean lawmaker Vladimir Konstantinov said on state television that the peninsula had experienced an “armageddon” like scenario.

“Old-timers can’t remember this kind of wind and waves,” he said.

Parts of the coastal highway linking the cities of Yevpatoria and Simferopol were closed due to flooding, and ferry services from Crimea’s largest city of Sevastopol were suspended.

About 500 marine animals in Sevastopol’s aquarium were killed during the storm, which flooded one of its floors, the city’s Moscow-installed governor said.

The Ukrainian mainland and southern Russia were also affected.

Train traffic on Russia’s Black Sea coast was disrupted after rail tracks fell into the sea, while oil loading at the port of Novorossiysk was suspended.

More than two thousand towns and villages on the Ukrainian mainland were also left without power due to bad weather on Monday, Kyiv’s government said.

Ukraine’s energy grid has been targeted systematically by Russian forces since Moscow’s assault began last year, and officials have warned strikes could intensify over winter.

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