At least 13 people were killed and dozens injured in Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia due to a winter storm that wreaked havoc in areas of Southeastern Europe and along the Black Sea coast, toppling trees and pulling down power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on November 27 said five people were killed and 19 were injured in Odesa and stressed that it was important that every community ensure that more people do not lose their lives due to bad weather.
“Unfortunately, as of now, there are some deaths. The highest number [of casualties] is in the Odesa region — five people,” Zelenskiy said in a video message.
According to the Ukrainian Energy Ministry, there were 882 settlements in 12 regions without power as of the evening of November 27 due to strong wind and snowfall. The Odesa region had the largest number of settlements without electricity — 313, affecting about 110,000 consumers.
Ukraine’s Emergency Service reported that by the evening of November 27, 1,233 vehicles had been towed and 164 trees removed.
Moldova, Bulgaria, and Romania were also badly affected by the storm, which swept in from the Black Sea, bringing snowfall as far north as Moscow in what the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia called “one of the strongest storms to ever hit at the end of November.”
Authorities in Moldova said there were nine road accidents in which two people died and 14 were injured. In addition, two people were found dead inside a car inundated by mud near the village of Coscalia.
The Russian Energy Ministry said about 1.9 million people were affected by power cuts in the southern regions of Daghestan, Krasnodar, and Rostov, as well as in the as the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, and Crimea regions.
Several people were injured in the Krasnodar region when hundreds of trees were blown down, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said. The storm also caused a large Belize-flagged cargo ship to run around near Anapa, the ministry said.
The number of deaths caused by the storm in the Krasnodar region and Russian-occupied Crimea was four, state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on November 27.
The body of a man who drowned was found in the Russian coastal city of Novorossiisk, the press service of the Interior Ministry in the Krasnodar region said.
The body of another victim, believed to be a crew member of a Malta-flagged ship that was in the Kerch Strait during the storm, was pulled from the water in Sochi. Two other deaths were reported in Crimea, but only one of them was confirmed by officials.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, said some parts of the city were being evacuated on November 27. Three people were hospitalized with injuries, he said, adding that 354 homes were without electricity and many others were without natural gas.
The Aquarium Museum in Sevastopol reported the storm tore through the complex, killing all of the estimated 800 animals housed in the facility.
In the Russian-occupied part of the Kherson region, 94 settlements were without electricity, said Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed head of the region. The wind knocked down nine power lines and damaged more than 50 towers, and communications and Internet have been disrupted.
Authorities in Romania and neighboring Moldova said hundreds of cities and villages were without electricity and water in the two countries on November 27 following heavy snowfall and blizzards that prompted severe disruption of road and railway traffic.
Source : RFERL