Evenki Autonomous Okrug

The Evenki Autonomous Okrug, or Evenkia, is one of nine autonomous national areas or okrugs in the Russian Federation. It was established on December 30,1930 as a national okrug and was named after the indigenous Evenki people. It is part of Krasnoyarsk Kray.

The Evenki Autonomous Okrug is situated in eastern Siberia. It borders with the Taymyr Autonomous Okrug in the north, with Sakha (Yakutia) Republic and

Location and main towns and rivers in the Evenki Autonomous Okrug.

Irkutsk Oblast' in the east and southeast, and with the southern districts of Krasnoyarsk Kray in the west and southwest. The territory extends 1500 km from north to south and 800-850 km from west to east, and has a total area of 767,600 km2. The okrug is located in the Central Siberian Uplands. The highest points are located to the northwest in the Putorana Plateau (up to 1700 m). The Podkamennaya (Stony) Tunguska and the Niznyaya (Lower) Tunguska rivers are the two largest rivers in the okrug, and flow north into the Yenisey River. The rivers are navigable for large boats only during spring and autumn floods. The largest lakes are the Essey, the Agata, and the Vivi. Permafrost is discontinuous in southern Evenkia, and continuous in the north. The okrug has rich natural resources, such as coal, oil, gas, graphite, calcite, and timber. Currently however, these are mainly unexploited, with oil and gas reserves being only in the initial stages of prospecting and development. The largest reserves are known in the Yurubcheno-Tokhomsky region in the south. Diamonds and gold have also been prospected. Russia's largest deposit of optical calcite (used in prisms for communication and optical instruments) is found in Evenki Autonomous Okrug.

The territory of the okrug falls mostly within the taiga zone with a transition to mountain tundra to the north. The climate is sharply continental; winter is long and severe (average January temperatures are -40°C), and summer is short and warm (average July temperatures in central Evenkia are +15°C). In winter, the Siberian anticyclone (high-pressure zone) maintains fine and windless weather. Annual precipitation is low (350-400 mm).

Pine, Dahurian larch, spruce, fir, and a great variety of grasses and moss grow in the taiga forests. Elk, brown bear, sable, squirrel, and stoat are found in the taiga, and are hunted by local peoples for food and fur. Mountain sheep, wild deer, polar fox, and white partridge are found in the forest tundra and tundra in the north of the okrug. The rivers are rich in fish, such as sturgeon, perch, and crucian carp.

On June 30, 1908, near the Stony Tunguska River 92 km north of Vanavara, a large aerial explosion, thought to be from a small comet or meteorite, detonated a huge shock wave. The "Tunguska Event," equivalent to a 10-15 megaton explosion, left no impact crater but the blast flattened trees in a radial direction over 2150 km2.

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