15:13 31.01.2017

Nearly 12,000 Avdiyivka residents may be evacuated to nearest Ukrainian populated localities

The local authorities and the Ukrainian State Service for Emergency Situations are working on a mechanism of evacuation of Avdiyivka residents (Donetsk region) and are considering the possibility of evacuating nearly 12,000 people to nearby populated areas, Emergency Situations State Service's head Mykola Chechotkin said.

"The issue of evacuation of nearly 12,000 residents to the neighboring ten populated localities (Kramatorsk, Kostiantynivka, Druzhkivka, Pokrivske, Selydeve, Horniak, Novhorodske, Ukrayinske, Bahmut, Slaviansk) is being worked on. Eighty buses, which can simultaneously evacuate up to 3,000 people, are prepared and are on standby for this. At the same time, two suburban trains, which can evacuate up to 1,600 people at once, are planned to set running for the evacuation of people," the Emergency Situations State Service's press service quoted Chechotkin as saying, following a meeting of the operational headquarters dealing with the situation in Avdiyivka on Tuesday.

Eleven heating points are arranged in Avdiyivka. The minimal pressure and the temperature of the heat transfer medium (up to 40 degrees) are provided in the heating supply system in the town. The air temperature of 15-16 degrees Celsius is being maintained in the flats. Fourteen pre-school and secondary educational institutions are suspended.

Control over the fire protection of the ovens at the Avdiyivka coke-chemical plant is provided.

If the situation deteriorates in Avdiyivka, the State Emergencies Service has formed and is keeping on alert a combined emergency and rescue team totaling nearly 150 people, 14 electric power stations with different power capacities, 22 heating points and four specific engine heaters, Chechotkin said.

The low air temperature will persist in Avdiyivka in the next two days: minus 18 degrees Celsius - on February 1, up to minus ten degrees Celsius - on February 2, the Ukrainian weather forecasting service said.

"Due to this situation, the priority tasks for the local authorities and the civil defense services are to prevent the heating supply systems in the town from freezing. The question was also coordinated with the special ceasefire coordinating center and the OSCE to provide safe conditions and undertake measures to restore the power supply to a thermal electric power station at the plant and a water filtering station as quickly as possible," the State Emergencies Service's head said.

Donetsk regional military-civil administration's head Pavlo Zhebrivsky said earlier in the morning that there is an opportunity to evacuate up to 8,000 Avdiyivka residents in the course of Tuesday.

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