Siberian pupils go to school as temperatures hit -50C

File image of a thermometer showing -15C Image copyright EPA
Image caption Cold, but not cold enough

Pupils in a Siberian town are still going to school after outdoor temperatures plunged to -50C (-58F), it's been reported.

Oymyakon in Russia's Sakha Republic of north-eastern Siberia might be in a deep freeze but it's not too cold to prevent children heading to the classroom, local news portal News.Ykt.Ru reports.

School in the settlement is officially closed for children in grades 1 to 5 when temperatures drop below -52 degrees. "Today it was -50C in the morning, all the children are studying," an official in the Oymyakon administration told Ykt.Ru.

In the city of Yakutsk, situated 30 kilometres south of Oymyakon, -50C is considered too cold for school children. Pupils there only get the day off if temperatures fall to a comparatively balmy -45 Celsius, regional administrators say.

Oymyakon, also called the Pole of Cold, is one of the coldest inhabited places on Earth. The coldest temperature recorded there was noted in January 1973, when temperatures reached -65 degrees Celsius (-85F).

In Britain, there's no minimum outdoor temperature to keep children out of school. Government guidelines for classrooms and workplaces say that schools should only consider closing if classroom temperatures dip below around 16 Celsius.

Watch: Hot water freezes instantly at -40 in Oymyakon

Reporting by Aleksandr Panin and Alistair Coleman

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