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Russian island enduring snow cyclone

Jan. 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- An avalanche hazard was in effect Saturday for the Russian island of Sakhalin, which was socked by a snow cyclone and blizzard, emergency officials said.

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.