08:49 GMT19 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia stood ready to provide assistance during the severe winter storm that recently hit the US states of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, but the states’ authorities responded by saying they did not need any additional help, Russian Consul General in Houston Alexander Zakharov said.

    "Guided by humanitarian considerations, we asked the authorities of the most affected states - Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana - whether they plan to turn to foreign countries for help, noting that if such an official appeal is received, Russia would be ready to consider it promptly," Zakharov said. "The partners responded that they do not need additional resources."

    Russia stood ready to offer help to the US states of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana amid the recent severe winter storm, however, the authorities said they did not need additional aid but expressed interest in studying the Russian experience of building infrastructure adapted for low temperatures, Alexander Zakharov said.

    "Guided by humanitarian considerations, we asked the authorities of the most affected states - Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana - whether they plan to turn to foreign countries for help, noting that if such an official appeal is received, the Russian side would be ready to consider it promptly," Zakharov said. "The partners responded that they do not need additional resources, but they are extremely interested in studying the Russian experience in building infrastructure adapted to low temperatures."

    Zakharov said it was paradoxical for Texas, often called the "energy capital" of the United States, to experience a true energy crisis during the 14-19 February winter storm.

    "A sharp drop in air temperature - on the night of February 16, the thermometer dropped to an unprecedented for these places -19 degrees Celsius - caused widespread disruptions to critical infrastructure, especially electricity and water supplies," he said.

    Zakharov pointed out that these conditions, coupled with ice on the roads, contributed to food and fuel shortages despite advance warnings about the upcoming bad weather. In addition, power plants, networks and the responsible regulatory bodies were not entirely prepared for the abnormal weather conditions.

    "A series of technical failures led to the loss of electricity for several days for more than 5 million residents, the pumps of water pumping stations stopped. With the power outage, there was no heat in the houses either," he said.

    Zakharov also said some residents tried to warm up in garages by starting their car engines, or burning coal inside their houses that in some cases led to tragic consequences.

    "The death toll in the state reached at least 40 people, and the economic damage, according to various estimates, is from $20 to 45 billion," he said. "By now, life has practically returned to its normal course, the work is underway to repair water supply systems, and to restore other damaged infrastructure."
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