Severe snowstorm paralyzes Astana, Kazakhstan

Severe snowstorm paralyzes Astana, Kazakhstan

A heavy snowstorm hit Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan (population 1 million), on February 8, 2024, causing decreased road visibility and paralyzing city operations.

The fierce snowstorm has led to the paralysis of urban life, impacting everything from the educational sector to transportation. The snowstorm’s intensity has significantly reduced visibility on the roads, forcing authorities to transition school students studying in the second shift to online classes to ensure their safety.

In response to the crisis, the mayor’s office has reported mobilizing more than 2 400 road workers and over 1 600 units of special equipment dedicated to snow removal efforts. The efforts have resulted in the removal of more than 55 000 m3 (1.9 million ft3) of snow from the city streets overnight.

YouTube video

The storm has also severely affected Astana’s airport, leading to the cancellation of seven departure and eight arrival flights, alongside delays to six departure and 12 arrival flights. The airport cites strong winds, with speeds reaching 68 km/h (42 mph) and gusts up to 83 km/h (52 mph), as a significant factor complicating takeoff and landing operations. Continuous efforts are underway to clear the heavy snow from the airfield.

kazakhstan satellite image suomi npp february 8 2024
Image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired on February 8, 2024

Kazhydromet forecasts indicate that the snowstorm, accompanied by glaze ice, will persist in Astana until through February 9. The snowstorm is part of a broader climatic disturbance affecting most parts of Kazakhstan, prompting the issuance of a storm warning across the country.

References:

1 Major snowstorm hits Astana – AKIpress – February 8, 2024

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