|Cars are pictured on a road in Moscow as it snows on December 25, 2014. (AFP Photo/Yuri Kadobonov)|
December 25, 2014 - MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Moscow was gripped by the worst gridlock ever seen as unexpectedly severe snowfall hit the Russian capital on Christmas day, literally paralyzing the city. Police registered up to 500 road accidents an hour and 200 flights were delayed.
The longest traffic jam stretched 60 kilometers, or over 37 miles, Russia’s online road traffic monitoring service Yandex Probki (Yandex traffic jam), reported.
"Guys, remember this historic day. It is the first time when 10 point was reached so early and for so long. It has been like that for 7 hours already. More is to come,” Yandex spokeswoman Elina Staviskaya posted on Facebook.
More than 11,000 units of specialized equipment have been struggling to cope with such a large snowfall (25 centimeters, 10 inches) in so short a period of time.
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These largely futile efforts have failed to help the situation on the roads. The congestion worsened in the evening when huge numbers of people left their workplaces and began to head home.
By 5:00 pm traffic police reported that in just one hour they had registered over 500 accidents, including 45 serious ones.
Commuters have been advised to walk. In many cases it was nearly impossible to reach metro stations by bus.
While stuck in traffic some people tried not to lose their sense of humor. Using the Yandex Probki mobile application, many started chatting and leaving funny notes for fellow drivers on the map.
“Let’s eat snow and clean roads,” suggested one driver. Another offered going back to their offices and having a party.
“Join us in the blue bus. We’ve been here since 8:00,” others wrote. Somebody begged Father Frost (Russian Santa Claus) to give a siren as a gift for New Year, hoping it would help.
Drivers handed over food and water, joked and cursed the weather. Numerous people stopped to help fellow travellers who were stranded in the snow.
Moscow public services began working early in the morning and will “continue round the clock,” authorities say. They promised that by Friday morning all the snow will be cleared. - RT.