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Chilling start to city’s 66 days of darkness

A city in Alaska has been plunged into two months of darkness after the area watched its last sunset for 2020.

Utqiagvik, the most northern city in the United States, had just 34 minutes of sunlight on Wednesday before the long, dark winter spell settled in – due to last until January 23.

The city’s 4000 residents will now experience a whopping 66 days of night and temperatures barely above freezing. Regions in the Arctic Circle are tilted away from the sun on the Earth’s axis during the winter months, resulting in the months of darkness.

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As darkness loomed over the past few weeks, days in Utqiagvik have been cut short with just five hours and 42 minutes of daylight by November 1.

This dropped to 34 minutes yesterday, when the sun barely appeared over the horizon.

The sun set on Wednesday at 1.30pm local time for the final time this year, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures have also plunged due to the lack of sunlight and residents won’t see daylight again for weeks.

Publications noted that by the time the sun rises there again, Joe Biden will be the president of the US after his January 20 inauguration.

The city also experiences the direct opposite weather effect during the summer with near total sunshine from May until August.

Utqiagvik recently introduced new coronavirus restrictions, including a stipulation that anyone who doesn’t quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and wear a mask will have to make a public service announcement.

Mayor Fannie Suvlu told Alaska Public Media that their voice recording, video clip or flyer will be sent around the community to alert people.

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