Kyiv, January 14, 2016. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU), 340 warming centers are operating in Ukraine now. With the onset of cold weather, it is often the only place to go for rescue in long traffic jams or during bad weather. Donetsk region has the highest number of tents with warm tea and biscuits this year, said Valentyn Pugachov, Speaker of the pilot project “Spokesperson of peaceful life”, at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Vladyslav Husynskyi, State Emergency Service of Ukraine, Deputy Head of Donetsk Region Chief Department, 143 stationary warming centers started work there. In Mariupol, Slovyansk and Bakhmutka (former city of Artemivsk) there are three mobile heat supply tents, another four – at entry and exit checkpoints. In total, 4,500 people have turned to these points since they began working. However, mobile centers have not been used yet. “We are closely cooperating with the departments of the Armed Forces and border guards. At entry and exit checkpoints we have equipped shelters so that we can hide people in case of fire,” added Mr. Husynskyi.
According to Maksym Melnyk, State Emergency Service of Ukraine, Deputy Head of Luhansk Region Chief Department, 31 warming centers operate in the region. Stationary centers are usually placed in insulated houses of municipal property. Eight mobile centers work in tents in the cities of Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Novoaydar, Shchastia, Bilovodsk, and Stanytsia Luhanska. Another eight mobile centers move to the place of destination in case of necessity. According to Mr. Melnyk, there people can get first aid, drink hot tea with biscuits and ask for advice. There you can also relax and charge mobile phones. “In total, over 28 thousand people turned to warming centers, with 27,000 of them – at pedestrian checkpoint on the boundary line in Stanytsia Luhanska,” he said and added that if necessary, they are ready to open additional warming centers.
Rescuers in Luhansk region made 100 trips to the road, where cars and trucks skidded because of the weather. They evacuated 40 people and brought them to the warming centers.
Maksym Melnyk also noted that although the SESU does not work in the so-called “gray zone” behind the boundary line, Ukrainian rescuers can go there and help the locals in case of urgency and with the consent of the ATO headquarters.
Warming centers will operate till the end of frosts. For detailed list of their addresses link mns.gov.ua/content/obig.html