Blizzard in Astana: flights and train delayed, Christmas trees and cars damaged
Warm weather and rains have given way to winds and blizzards in Astana, Tengrinews reports.
A lot of flights are being delayed. As of 5 p.m. 3 international flights from Astana were delayed and one cancelled. 15 domestic flights were delayed. 27 arrivals were delayed at the Astana airport as well because of the weather.
People waiting at the Airport of Astana. Photo courtesy of a Tengrinews reader.
Trains are also being delayed and the Astana train station is packed with people waiting for the weather to settle down and for trains and intercity buses to run again. So far, departures of all the intercity buses from Astana have been cancelled. All the intercity highways have been closed for traffic.
A bus bound for Astana from Omsk flipped over 20 km from Astana earlier today. And over 100 traffic accidents due to poor visibility and bad weather took place in the city of Astana.
“People from the bus station have moved over to the train station hoping to depart. (...) There is no discontent among the passengers. They have been provided access to baby care rooms and lounge areas, additional chairs have also been provided,” Vokzal-Service, the station managing company, said.
Railway station in Astana is packed with people. Photo from Facebook page of Yerlan Musayev
Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the national company managing the country’s railways, said that over 32 thousand cubic meters of snow had been removed from the railway tracks since the blizzard began yesterday. "Due to the complicated weather conditions on December 28 and 29 all the railway transport is operating in high alert mode. 147 snow-removing vehicles are clearing tracks. No serous disruptions in the work of railway transport have taken place,” the company’s press-service said.
Photos courtesy of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy press-service.
There were blackouts in the outskirts of the city where power is supplied along overhead power transmission lines – some of the lines were damaged by the wind and heavy snow.
“Most of the blackouts were caused by wire breaks and crosses. (…) The company’s emergency repair crews are fully equipped and are fixing the damaged sections," Astana REK, one of the power supplying companies of Astana city, said.
Near Keruen mall, a huge shining ball installed as Christmas decoration was uprooted and picked up by the wind. It wasn’t carried away anywhere far, but damaged a nearby car.
A Christmas tree near Rakhmet mall also sustained damage from the blizzard – it nearly lost the upper part.
Photo from Twitter/@m1dwaaay
Photo from Facebook page of Inna Kolupai
Classes at schools were cancelled for everyone except high school students.
By Tatyana Kuzmina (reporting by Assemgul Kassenova)