A large section of the metro in Kyiv is being shut down for emergency repair work caused by tunnel leakage and excessive flooding, which would take up to six months and well into the summer of next year.

The repair would affect one-third of the blue line, one of the three metro lines in Kyiv, between the Teremky and Demiyivska stations south of the city center.

According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, the city administration is establishing the cause behind the incident.

“Specialists are investigating the causes of the emergency situation that arose in the tunnel on the section of the blue subway line between the Teremky and Demiyivska stations. Train traffic there was closed. And now they run between the Heroiv Dnipra and Lybidska stations,” said Klitschko in a Telegram update.

Videos of flooding caused by tunnel leakage surfaced on the internet last week, with the metro being closed one day before the planned closure on Dec. 9, leading many to suspect the situation to be worse than previously announced.

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Despite the closure, the stations will function as air raid shelters as usual.

Kyiv City State Administration is organizing replacement bus and trolley bus services to serve those affected by the repair work, gradually increasing to 77 buses and 20 trolleybuses as the city transitions to the new, temporary system, and Klitschko believed it would be sufficient considering the capacity.

“This amount of ground transport will be able to carry 14,000-15,000 people per hour. For example, the subway in this section transported about 12,000 people per hour,” Klitschko said.

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However, Kyiv is known to suffer from traffic jams during adverse weather conditions aboveground, and some have suspected the replacements could worsen the situation.

The metro closure has also led to a range of mocking comments from locals, sparking a range of memes and comments that questioned the expected six-month repair duration.

In one such video on Instagram, a user commented: “With Klitschko, 6 months can become 6 years,” with another user sharing similar sentiments: “6 months is the best estimation. Worst case scenario, several years.”

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