The press service of the Sakhalin region's main emergencies department said three avalanches had already taken place there in the new year, ITAR-Tass reported.
Friday's avalanches were blamed for the derailment of a locomotive and a snow remover. One railway worker was found alive but a search was under way for two other missing workers.
The cyclone and blizzard plaguing the island created limited visibility with snow whipped by winds up to 55 mph.
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