Icy rain shuts down Moscow's airport, power lines | world | Hindustan Times
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Icy rain shuts down Moscow's airport, power lines

world Updated: Dec 26, 2010 21:38 IST

Icy rain on Sunday shut down Moscow's largest airport for nearly 15 hours, coated roads with ice and left more than 300,000 people and 14 hospitals without electricity in winter.

The rain struck the city Saturday night. Workers are scrambling to restore the power supply after heavy ice snapped power lines, Russia's Emergency Situations ministry said.

Moscow's Domodedovo airport closed Sunday morning after it lost power. No planes were allowed to land or take off for 15 hours until the airport opened for outbound flights to several domestic destinations. The airport's full power supply has not been restored yet.

At least 13 flights had already taken off, civil aviation chief Alexander Neradko said on state-run Rossiya 24 TV. Moscow's other two major airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, remained open but experienced severe delays.

Moscow motorists woke up to find their cars covered with an inch of ice. Power lines across the region, loaded down with ice, snapped at the slightest touch, disrupting public transport and suburban trains.

Health officials urged Moscow residents to stay indoors and not to risk walking on the city's icy streets.

Unlike the rest of Europe, Moscow had no airport delays last week due to winter weather.

In Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, polar swimmers took part Sunday in the traditional Christmas swim in the Vltava River.