Russia floods: Ural river reaches critical level in Orenburg

Russia floods: Ural river reaches critical level in Orenburg
Russia floods: Ural river reaches critical level in Orenburg

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Russia floods: Ural river reaches critical level in Orenburg in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - MOSCOW — Russia has said the situation is “very, very tense” as floodwaters continue to rise in the city of Orenburg and surrounding areas.

“Large amounts of water are coming to new regions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Wednesday.

Water levels in the Ural river near Orenburg rose to over 10m (33ft) on Wednesday, Ria news agency reported, well above its bursting point.

The flooding is being described as the worst to hit the region in 80 years.

Thousands of people have had to flee their homes in southern Russia, and officials in neighboring Kazakhstan say the number of evacuees there has risen to 97,000.

Entire villages have been engulfed by overflowing rivers.

As many as 2,000 homes have been flooded in Orenburg, where water levels have surpassed the critical level of 9.3m and still rising.

The city has a population of 550,000 and lies about 1,500km (930 miles) south-east of Moscow.

“So far, the forecast is not favorable. The water level continues to rise,” Peskov said, adding that a “large amount” of floodwater would soon also reach the nearby regions of Kurgan and Tyumen.

Peskov added that the situation “of course requires the most energetic efforts from government officials at all levels to help people”.

He said President Vladimir Putin was not intending to visit the flood zone and said the Russian leader was instead “getting information and coordinated the work of all branches of authorities”.

Last week, several rivers — including the Ural river, Europe’s third largest — burst their banks after rapidly melting snow and ice caused them to swell.

The city of Orsk, about 300km (180 miles) downstream from Orenburg, was flooded when water burst through a dam embankment. Authorities there say the situation is now stable.

The Ural river flows through Orsk into Kazakhstan and then into the Caspian Sea.

Floodwaters are threatening several areas of northern Kazakhstan and many dams and reservoirs are filled to capacity.

Regional leader Gauez Nurmukhambetov has warned that a “huge flow” of water is heading to the city of Petropavlovsk, with a population of 200,000.

“Once again, I emphasize, huge!” he said.

President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev has called on his country to unite in the face of what he said was potentially the “largest disaster in the past 80 plus years in terms of its scale and consequences”. — BBC


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