Plane from Moscow directed to alternate airfield due to cyclone

15.01.2012 21:00:51 (GMT+12)

A plane of Aeroflot that on Thursday was performing a flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was directed sent an alternate airport in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk due to a cyclone on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It is planned that the aborted flight will be carried out in the morning on January 13, local time, the directorate of the Yelizovo airport of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky told Itar-Tass.

According to representatives of Aeroflot in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, all 260 passengers of the rerouted flight will be accommodated at the city’s hotels. All of them are provided with meals.

The traffic control service of the main airport of Kamchatka reported that at present the airport is open and ready to receive aircraft. The runway is operational and ready for landing of aircraft.

A cyclone with snowfall and blizzards approached the southern coast of Kamchatka from the Sea of ••Okhotsk overnight. It has affected the Yelizovo, Ust-Bolsheretsky districts of the territory and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In the south-west of the peninsula there were wind gusts up to 34 metres per second. Classes in all schools in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky were cancelled because of the snowstorm.

Currently, the intensity of precipitation and wind power are subsiding in the south of the Kamchatka Territory. However, the Kamchatka Hydrometeorology Centre warned that another powerful cyclone that originated off the coast of Japan will approach the peninsula on the night to January 13. Heavy snowfall and gale winds are expected. The cyclone will rage in the region for the next two days.

The avalanche hazard has increased in the mountainous districts of the region because of the snowfall. The hazard will persist until January 15, the Kamchatka avalanche centre reported.

Organisations that work in the mountains have been advised to take measures to ensure safety of personnel. Hikers, hunters and extreme sports fans were urged to be extremely careful and refrain, if possible, from their activities during the hazard period.

Kamchatka is a 1,250-kilometre (780 mi) peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of 472,300 square km (182,400 sq mi). It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast of the peninsula runs the 10,500-metre (34,400 ft) deep Kuril-Kamchatka Trench.

The Kamchatka Peninsula, the Commander Islands, and Karaginsky Island constitute the Kamchatka Krai of the Russian Federation. The vast majority of the 402,500 inhabitants are Russians, but there are also about 8,743 Koryaks. More than half of the population lives in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (198,028 people) and nearby Yelizovo (41,533).

The Kamchatka peninsula contains the Volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kamchatka receives up to 2,700 mm (110 in) of precipitation per year. The summers are moderately cool, and the winters tend to be rather stormy with rare amounts of lightning.