Ice storms in Russia's Far East prompts state of emergency

Vladivostok (Russia) (AFP) –


Freak ice storms following an abnormal weather phenomenon has left 150,000 people without water and electricity in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and prompted a state of emergency.

The exceptional weather brought down cables and trees with the government of the Primorsky region declaring a state of emergency.

"The situation with the electricity supply remains very difficult -- the destruction is widespread," the regional administration's deputy head Elena Parkhamenko said.

She said it could take "several days" to restore power.

He said in some places the resulting ice was 12 millimetres thick -- something not observed in the region in 30 years.

Photos and videos published by local authorities and on social media showed everything from apartment buildings to road signs to public transport covered in ice.

Video footage from a security camera showed a man moving away from his car at the last second as he was cleaning ice from its windshield before a block came crashing down from the side of a building.