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Sakhalin, Kurils withstand first onslaught of Christmas cyclone

Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands have withstood the first onslaught of a Christmas cyclone. No accidents happened, a source at the Sakhalin regional department of the Emergency Situations Ministry told Itar-Tass.

The wind reached 33 meters per second on the South Kuril Islands, and it was raining heavily, the weathermen said. Meanwhile, Sakhalin had a heavy snowfall and a blizzard. A number of vehicles got stuck in the snow, but drivers and passengers were quickly evacuated by rescuers.

The bad weather has isolated Sakhalin from mainland. The ferry line between Vanino and Kholmsk is closed until Monday. On regular days four diesel-powered vessels make non-stop shuttle trips.

The Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan are stormy, and fishing boats and freighters have receded to quiet harbors.

A sailor of the Boguchar trawler got heavily sick. He was evacuated to Magadan by helicopter.

The cyclone will stay in Sakhalin and Kurils until January 9, and then move on to Kamchatka.

© Itar-Tass

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