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Powerful Ice Storm Leaves More Than 150,000 Without Heat, Power In Russian Far East

Around 60,000 residents of Vladivostok are without power.

A powerful ice storm knocked out heat, electricity, and water to more than 150,000 people in Russia's Far East, coating the country's largest Pacific coast city in a thick layer of ice.

The national Emergency Situations Ministry said the aftereffects from the storm, which hit on November 19, were felt most in Vladivostok, home to Russia's Pacific Fleet.

Regional officials have declared a state of emergency.

Photos and videos showed dozens of downed power lines and poles, and city residents lining up at portable field kitchens to get hot meals, drinking water, and cooking gas.

The regional government said as of November 22 around 60,000 residents of Vladivostok -- about one-tenth of the city's population -- remained without power with temperatures below freezing.

Boris Kubay, a local weather service official, told AFP that in some places the ice that coated the city was 12 millimeters thick -- something he said hadn't been observed in the region in decades.

With reporting by AFP
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