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Russia's Sakhalin Island Blanketed In Snow

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia -- Seven towns and villages on Russia's Far Eastern Sakhalin Island have had their power supply cut off by heavy snowstorms, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Power in two other villages was lost and later restored by emergency workers. Resumption of power in the seven villages is being hindered by the snowstorm.

The island's major highway from Yuzhno-Sakhakinsk to Okha is covered with snow and unusable.

On March 22, rescue teams freed 130 passengers from 35 vehicles that were stuck in snow in southern Sakhalin.

Local authorities said the amount of snow that has fallen on the island since March 20 is the most in the past several years.

Sakhalin Island is located north of Japan in the Pacific Ocean. It has a population of some 550,000.