News

Avalanches, poor visibility may disrupt Sochi Olympics

Avalanches, poor visibility may disrupt Sochi Olympics

2014 OLYMPICS: A man walks past a shop with an Olympic logo in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi Dec. 21. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian meteorologists have no concerns about a shortage of snow for the Winter Olympics in February but believe avalanches and poor visibility could disrupt the Sochi Games.

The slopes where ski races and other mountain events will be held, high above the sub-tropical Black Sea shore, should have 6.5 to 23 feet of snow, said the head of Rosgidromet state forecasting Alexander Frolov.

Frolov also told a news briefing there was “a risk that a two, three-day cyclone may set in and significantly complicate our lives. Then the avalanche danger will increase and we will have to … interrupt the Games”.

PHOTOS: Olympic Team USA uniforms

Avalanches are common in winter and emergency services in Russia fire artillery rounds at the slopes to force the snowpack to come down safely.

“The second risk for us is low visibility when the cloud cover comes down,” said Frolov.

President Vladimir Putin has staked his personal and political prestige on a successful Games in a location where most of the venues have had to be built from scratch.

Sochi Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko has said the weather is viewed as a bigger potential problem for the organizers than security or infrastructure of a Games that has cost Russia around $50 billion.

Unusually warm temperatures last winter prompted organizers of Russia’s first post-Soviet Olympics, and first Winter Games, to store about 450,000 cubic meters (16 million cubic feet) of snow in the mountains just in case.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt, writing by Alexei Anishchuk, editing by Tony Jimenez)

What's Happening at KIOA

Star Wars Weekend TXT

STWR_PAYOFF_TitleTreatment

Listen all weekend long for your chance to win a pair of tickets to Star Wars at the Science Center of Iowa’s Blank IMAX Dome Theater at the Science Center.

2016 Des Moines Home & Garden Show

HomeandGardenShow_dl

Discover what exciting things this year’s Home & Garden Show has to offer.

We Love the 80s Weekend

weekends-pm

Fall in love with the songs that were, like, radical and totally tubular! Presented by Prairie Meadows, Your Favorite Place to Play!

Valentine’s Day Vegas Getaway

valvegasgetaway-FI

Win a fabulous getaway to Las Vegas!

Amtrak’s Rails of Love

RailsofLove_DL

Enter to win a roundtrip tickets for you and your sweetheart to Chicago courtesy of Amtrak.

Hire Me Iowa

HireMeIowa_620x400_final

Looking for a job around the Des Moines area? Check out our current job listings here.

Recent Headlines

2 hours ago in Entertainment

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ headed for Broadway debut

mockingbird

Harper Lee's classic novel is coming to Broadway for the first time in a new stage version written by "West Wing" writer Aaron Sorkin.

3 hours ago in Entertainment

Charlize Theron gearing up for ‘Fast 8’

charlizetheron

The "Mad Max: Fury Road" star is in early talks to play the villain in the eighth installment of the hugely successful street racing series.