Emergency declared in Russian archipelago for a bizarre reason
Moscow, Feb 11: A state of emergency has been declared at Novaya Zemlya archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean in Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia because of a bizarre reason and it is the invasion of polar bears in human settlements.
The governor of Arkhangelsk and the regional government said this in a press release on Saturday, February 9.
"The decision to declare an emergency situation on the territory of Novaya Zemlya from February 9 was taken at a meeting of the commission tasked to prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety," Russia's TASS News Agency cited the statement as saying.
It said the emergency situation was caused by "mass invasion" of polar bears in human settlements.
Deputy head of Novaya Zemlya administration Alexander Minayev said dozens of the animals have been assembling near the residential areas since December last year and reports of the wild animals attacking people and entering buildings have also surfaced, the report added.
People have sought help from the administration to protect them from the menace and extra fences were installed near the kindergartens to protect children. Patrols were increased along with deployment of dogs but the bears showed little signs of fear.
The Russian environmental watchdog, meanwhile, has ruled out the option of shooting the animals, despite their aggression.
It was reported that a team of experts will be sent to the archipelago to examine the situation and stop the animals from attacking human beings. They hoped firearms will not be required to solve the problem and authorities said emergency will remain till people's safety was ensured.