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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cold Creates Emergency in Vladivostok

Officials in Vladivostok declared a state of emergency because half the buildings in the city are without heat as temperatures drop below freezing, Interfax reported.

Schools and day-care centers have been closed, and hospitals will soon be evacuated if the situation does not improve in the Pacific Ocean port city of 600,000 people located about 6,400 kilometers east of Moscow, the news agency said Monday.

Making matters worse, Vladivostok was inundated early Monday by a major snowstorm, Interfax reported.

City officials blame local energy supplier Dalenergo for the shortage. They say Dalenergo is poorly managed and does not maintain its equipment.

More than 500 apartment buildings in Vladivostok are not getting heat because of leaks in steam pipes belonging to Dalenergo, Interfax said.

The city administration has sent an emergency appeal to President Boris Yeltsin requesting that he set up a commission to resolve the crisis, Interfax said.

With no money to buy fuel oil, the city has also had to cut output at three heating plants.

Almost all apartments in Vladivostok are heated by a city-run system.

Few people have alternate means of heating their homes aside from costly and dangerous electric heating devices.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, providing heat through the winter has been a major problem for towns in Russia's Far East, where money is scarce for fuel supplies.