Russia evacuates more than 700 people from homes in flood-hit Orsk

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - MOSCOW, April 6 — More than 700 people were evacuated from their homes in the Russian city of Orsk, the emergency services ministry said today, a day after rising waters in the Ural river flooded riverside villages and caused a dam to burst.

The ministry said it had evacuated 711 people, including 210 children, from the city of 230,000 people near Russia’s border with Kazakhstan.

Video footage published by the ministry showed residents being helped into lifeboats, wearing life jackets. Thousands of homes were flooded, Russian news agencies reported.

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Yesterday, local authorities in the Ural mountains Orenburg region, where Orsk is located, urged residents of riverside communities to evacuate after the dam burst.

Agencies cited the local prosecutor’s office as saying that the dam had been breached due to poor maintenance.

A string of Russian Siberian and Urals mountain provinces and neighbouring parts of Kazakhstan have been inundated by floodwaters in recent days.

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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the flooding may be Kazakhstan’s largest natural disaster in terms of scale and impact for 80 years.

“We must learn all the lessons from these large-scale floods,” he said. — Reuters

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