Thursday, October 09, 2014

A terrible warning for Donbas from 2006

This is from the current Wikipedia entry on Alchevsk, a heavily industrialised city in the Luhansk Oblast of eastern Ukraine which has been under the control of separatists since April.

"Winter disaster of 2006

On January 22, 2006, the district heating system of the city almost entirely collapsed after an underground heat pipe line cracked in unusually cold weather (nearly −30 °C). As a result, heating equipment in the majority of Alchevsk's buildings was frozen and ruptured, leaving about 60,000 residents with only the protection of individual electric heaters. A few days later the sewage system also froze due to a lack of warm tap water.
An investigation revealed the massive, long-time negligence of the city authorities. The whole heating system was designed in a hyper-centralized way, depending on only two boilers and few main pipelines. Moreover, the housing company failed to react to the pipe incident properly: the water from the system wasn't immediately dumped to prevent further freezing.
The Ukrainian government took massive emergency actions to protect Alchevsk residents from freezing. Engineering teams sent by cities and industrial companies from other regions of the country were gradually restoring heating appliances in every apartment affected. Hundreds of children together with their schoolteachers were evacuated to the resorts and hotels in the warmer regions of Ukraine. According to the governor of Luhansk Oblast G. Moskal, it has been the worst human-made disaster in the history of independent Ukraine."
The Ostrov website reports that Donetsk regional council deputy Vitaly Kropachev is now strongly advising those who remain on the territory controlled by terrorist/separatist organizations to urgently leave, otherwise they will die in winter from cold and hunger. 
He provides a detailed analysis of the dire situation that exists in the public services sector which he stressed has now reached the point of collapse. Kropachev believes when the cities of Donbas begin to freeze the leaders of the separatists will 'do a runner' and abandon the citizens of these cities to their fate. He says malnutrition amongst some residents is already a problem. 
Ostrov also mentions the 2006 disaster, but on that occasion the Ukrainian government saved the day. 

No comments: