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Swathes of Siberia freeze at temperatures below -58 degrees Celsius

YAKUTSK, Russia, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Arctic weather enveloped large swaths of Russia on Tuesday, with temperatures in the Siberian wilderness falling to minus 58 degrees Celsius (minus 72 degrees Fahrenheit).

Yakutsk, one of the world’s coldest cities located about 5,000 km east of Moscow, was covered in freezing clouds and fog, drone footage showed.

“I specially came here to Yakutsk to experience such weather. So I am lucky, because in December we are not used to it,” said Danila, whose beard, the hat and scarf were covered in ice.

“Actually, I’m not that cold because I prepared properly,” he said. “If I didn’t have the right clothes, I would have frozen in minutes.”

He said the extreme temperatures made his coat much stiffer, while his phone lost charge within minutes. Two pairs of gloves were essential, as well as layers of clothing.

Temperatures in parts of the Sakha Republic, a vast region somewhat smaller than India located in the northeastern part of Siberia, fell below minus 55 overnight.

In Oymyakon, a town in Sakha, the temperature was minus 58°C on Tuesday. Meteorologists said the temperature would be minus 63C given the humidity and wind.

At the Yakutsk market, fish was sold frozen, packaged in dozens of boxes. No freezer was needed. The saleswomen were bundled up in large fur hats.

“It’s cold,” said resident Piotr. “You just need good quality clothing and you’ll be fine. The main thing is to keep moving to keep the blood flowing.”

Written by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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