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Massive Snowfall Impacts Major Russian Highway

Historical re-enactors dressed as 1812-era French soldiers march during a re-enactment of the French Invasion of Russia during celebrations to mark the Russian Orthodox Christmas in St. Petersburg, Russia, January 7, 2013.
Russian emergency workers continue to try to clear a main highway in the country’s restive Northern Caucacus region after two days of extremely heavy snow.

Russian emergency workers trying to clear roads are using anti-aircraft guns to bring down potentially dangerous over-hanging snow on mountains in Russia’s southern region near Georgia.

In two days, the equivalent of more than two months of snow fell in the region, causing an avalanche to cover the Transcaucasus Highway.

Denis Ivanov works for Russia’s Emergency Ministry Search and Rescue Squad.

He says power lines sustained minor damage and barracks were hit as well, but people were evacuated in time so there were no injuries.

Russian Weather Service Avalanche Paramilitary Squad Commander Aslan Dzugaev says large changes in temperature have caused the avalanches.

He says during the day it is up to six degrees Celsius and by the evening it can fall to as low as minus-16 degrees Celsius. He says this causes avalanches.

Russian news agencies are reporting many tourists who went to the region for Russia’s holiday season have been trapped because the Transcaucasus highway is impassable.