Russia says over 10,000 residential houses flooded across Urals, Siberia

Russia says over 10,000 residential houses flooded across Urals, Siberia
Russia says over 10,000 residential houses flooded across Urals, Siberia

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This photo taken from a video released by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry on April 7, 2024 shows rescuers inspecting a flooded area in the town of Orsk, Orenburg region, southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains. — AFP pic/Russian Emergencies Ministry handout

MOSCOW, April 8 — Russia said today that more than 10,000 residential buildings were flooded across the Urals, Volga area and western Siberia as emergency services evacuated cities threatened by rising rivers.

On Sunday, Russia declared a federal emergency in the Orenburg region, where the Ural river flooded much of the city of Orsk and is now reaching dangerous levels in the main city of Orenburg.

“On the territories of the Siberian, Privolzhye (Volga area) and the central federal regions a rise in air temperature, active snow melting and the overflow of rivers is forecast,” Russia’s Emergency Ministry said on social media.

“More than 10,400 residential houses are flooded.”

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Russia has evacuated thousands of people already, mostly in the Orenburg region near Kazakhstan.

Much of the city of Orsk has been flooded after torrential rain burst a nearby dam.

Orenburg region authorities said that the Ural river in Orsk “went down by nine centimetres” but that water levels in the main city of Orenburg, which has a population of around 550,000, were reaching dangerous thresholds.

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“In Orenburg, in a day there was a rise by 16 centimetres to 872 centimetres” in the water level, the regional government said.

Its mayor Sergei Salmin was quoted by Russian media as saying the flood was expected to be “unprecedented” and warning of forced evacuations.

Russia’s weather monitor Rosgidromet said that it expected the flood to peak in Orenburg on Wednesday and that several of the city’s districts would be hit.

Authorities have also warned of “inevitable” rising water levels in the Siberian regions of Tyumen and Kurgan, with the large Tobol River expected to rise.

Emergency services in Kurgan, a city of around 300,000 people near the Kazakh border, said they began “preventative evacuations” and relocated 571 people.

The Kremlin had ordered authorities in Kurgan and Tyumen to be on alert, citing “nature anomalies”. — AFP

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