Extreme cold in Siberia at the approach of Orthodox Epiphany with thermometers posting -68 degrees in Yakutia, -56 degrees on Lake Baikal, Siberia was facing a cold snap Thursday just hours from the Orthodox Epiphany for which millions of Russians are plunging into the icy water.
The region of Yakutia in the Russian Far East, temperatures reached -68 ° C Thursday, after -65 ° C Wednesday, causing the closure of a hundred schools.
In Siberia, near Irkutsk, in the Lake Baikal region, residents and tourists were preparing to descend below -56 ° C on Friday, thirty degrees less than Thursday.
In Ulaan-Ude, capital of the neighboring region of Buryatia, the thermometer has dropped to -32 degrees and is expected to continue to decline in the next few days.
These Extreme cold temperatures come as the Orthodox, including many Russians, Belarussians and Ukrainians, prepare to celebrate the Epiphany in the night of Thursday to Friday by diving in frozen rivers and ponds, in memory of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.
“The cold of Epiphany has arrived,”
A Russian surfer greeted in a video posted on YouTube showing his eyelashes and hair covered with ice. “Good, but it’s only -47 ° C”.
Some Russians also broadcast photos and videos of their bathing. “It’s a bit warmer now,” one of them assuredly said, after swam by -44 degrees with a smile, in the middle of a frozen nature in the Republic of Sakha (Far East Russian).
Extreme cold Temperatures remained mild in Moscow (-7 degrees) despite a snowstorm that caused major traffic jams. More than 10,000 municipal employees were trying to clear the snow from the streets and sidewalks, according to the Russian media.
In neighboring Belarus, in the region of Braguine, where temperatures were close to -5 degrees, police officers saved a momentum that fell in a pond and remained immobilized by the ice that had reformed around it.
“I’ve been patrolling the area for six years now, but this is the first time we have to save a wild animal” from the cold, Sergei Guorochko was quoted as saying by a local police statement