Winter storms have brought heavy snow, low temperatures, and high winds to much of Kyrgyzstan as of Wednesday, December 27, with more adverse weather forecast in the coming days. Snowfall and winds between 65 and 80 km/h (40-50 mph) have been reported across the country, and have led to power outages in the Chui and Talas regions. Temperatures are expected to remain below 0˚C (32˚F) through Friday, December 29, dropping as low as -30˚C (-22˚F) in high altitude areas.
Additionally, officials are warning individuals to take extreme precautions when driving during the extreme winter weather. Additional traffic police have been deployed in Bishkek and are stopping highway drivers to ensure that they have proper equipment for driving in winter conditions (winter tires and snow chains). The Ministry of Emergency Affairs has issued an avalanche warning for all mountainous areas, including the Tee-Ashuu, Ala-Bel, and Chichkan gorge sections of the Bishkek-Osh highway. Officials are advising drivers to maintain a distance of 500 m (1640 ft) from the vehicle ahead of them in mountainous areas. Temporary driving restrictions have been placed in some sections of the Bishkek-Osh highway to prevent traffic jams from developing.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to follow all instructions as issued by local authorities, to monitor weather forecasts, and to anticipate transportation disruptions and potentially hazardous conditions.
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