The Siberian region of Yakutia has experienced the longest cold spell in fourteen years, with temperatures having dipped below 40 degrees Celsius over a month ago— an abnormally long period even for this northern region.
This week, temperatures are due to drop even further to around minus 50 degrees, and school children have been released from classes until it warms up again.
While many local residents were caught unprepared, due to an abnormally warm fall— others told the Associated Press they were not surprised by the cold spell.
“I was born in Yakutsk and I’m living here for the time being so I’m used to this cold,” said local resident Afanasiy Andreev.
Others gave advice for how to remain warm.
“The main rule is not to stand in one place and to keep going and going,” said local Dmitry Kuznetsov.
Meanwhile, drivers have had to keep their car engines running throughout the night to prevent them from freezing — or look for other ways to keep their cars warm like heating covers.
Otherwise in -50 degree weather, cars simply jam.
“There’s a timer connected to the alarm, so if the (internal) temperature drops to minus 10 then the car ignites itself to warm up the engine, after which it turns off again,” explained driver Anton Karpov.
According to forecasts, the cold temperatures are expected to last until the end of January and may even drop as low as minus 60 degrees.