Russian emergency services struggled to maintain the country's often creaky heating infrastructure on Saturday as temperatures in some of the coldest regions on Earth plunged to bone-chilling levels, officials said.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement it was providing emergency help in a village in the Siberian province of Yakutia where a fault in a main heating pipeline had left 11 apartment buildings, home to 175 people, without heat.

Outdoor temperatures in the village of Artyk had plunged to minus 54 degrees Celsius (minus 65 Fahrenheit) in recent days, according to the provincial newspaper Yasia.

Work was also progressing on repairing damage that had left 137,000 residents without mains heating in several districts of Krasnoyarsk province, the ministry said. The temperature there was minus 17 Celsius.

Similar problems with communal heating systems usually used to warm Russian apartment buildings were being dealt with in the city of Novosibirsk, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

In Moscow the onset of a deep winter freeze brought the regular seasonal crop of fatalities, which mostly comprises people living rough on the street who struggle to stay warm by huddling around heating ducts or in metro station entrances.

Three people had frozen to death in the last 24 hours, the Interfax news agency reported, quoting an unidentified hospital source. Their deaths brought to 67 the number of people who have died from hypothermia in the capital since November 1, the source said.