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 Post subject: Over 100 killed in floods in southern Russia
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 07 Jul 2012 21:22 
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Over 100 killed in floods in southern Russia

Flash floods in Russia's southern Krasnodar region have killed over 100 people and affected nearly 13,000 in the area's worst natural disaster in a decade.

Torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water in the Black Sea region overnight.

The water rushed into the area around the hard-hit town of Krimsk with such speed and volume that rumours emerged that local officials had opened a nearby water reservoir.

Muddy water coursed through streets and homes, in some cases high enough to flow over the hoods of cars and even as high as rooftops, according to witnesses.

People waded through waist-high water or maneuvered the streets in boats on Saturday.
About 5,000 residences were flooded, the Krasnodar governor was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency.

"Nobody remembers such a flood in all (of the area's) history," Alexander Tkachev said.

Anatoly Lastovetskt of the Interior Ministry gave the death toll as 103, and a regional ministry spokesman said earlier that at least 67 of the deaths were around Krimsk, about 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) south of Moscow.

Five people died of electrical shock in the Black Sea coastal city of Gelendzhik after a transformer fell into the water, state news agency RIA Novosti said.

Anna Kovalevskaya, whose parents live in the flooded area, described water indundating their home up to the roof.

"In the town people are saying that a reservoir in the mountains above was opened," she told the Moscow-based radio station Russian News Service.

"A wave came from there. There was seven meters (22 feet) of water in the town."

There was no immediate official comment on the reservoir speculation.

Ecologist Igor Chestin, director of the Russian office of the World Wildlife Fund acknowledged the rumours, but told the Interfax news agency that "we don't have such information."

State news channel Rossiya 24 showed video of residents rescuing people in small, inflatable boats and others slogging glumly through flooded homes.

As of 10am, more than 28 centimetres (11 inches) of rain had fallen in Gelendzhik since the previous evening, the state meteorological service said.

Gelendzhik is on the Black Sea coast, and along with the area around it, is a popular summer vacation spot, including many children's camps.

Vice-premier Olga Golodets told RIA Novosti that some 7,100 children were at holiday camps in the area, and that with 459 children had to be evacuated.

The area also includes Novorossiisk, a major Black Sea port.

The Transneft oil company said it has suspended loading oil onto tankers at the port because of the severe weather.

More than 1,500 Emergency Ministry officials were working to aid flood victims and clean up the damage, state TV said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has set up a commission to help the victims.

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 Post subject: Re: Over 100 killed in floods in southern Russia
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 09 Jul 2012 10:13 
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Death toll from Russia flash floods rises to over 170
9 July UPDATE

SOUTHERN Russia is reeling from devastating flash floods with at least 170 people killed
and 29,000 left without power in the region's worst natural disaster in history.


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Flash floods in southern Russia, such as this one in Gelendzhik, have killed more than 100 people and affected nearly 13,000. Source: AFP

President Vladimir Putin personally inspected the worst-hit areas of Krasnodar on Saturday evening (local time), comparing the force of the water that trapped people in their homes at night and ripped up pavements and traffic lights and flooded rail tracks with a "tsunami".

Putin has also quickly moved to quash panicky speculation that the deluge was caused by an opening of floodgates at a local water reservoir.

At least 170 people died in the floods including 12 from the port of Novorossiisk and the popular Black Sea resort town of Gelendzhik where five were electrocuted, spokesman for regional investigators Ivan Sengerov told AFP.

The worst-hit area was a district around Krymsk, a town of 57,000 where rescue teams have found 134 bodies including those of a one-year-old toddler and a 10-year-old child.

"Most of them were pensioners," Sengerov said, adding that the death toll was likely to be revised as rescue teams continued work.

Krymsk is about 200km northwest of the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"The Krasnodar region is experiencing the most difficult and the most devastating floods in its history," the regional administration said, adding that the region would observe a day of mourning on Monday.

Krymsk residents complained today that they have been left to their own devices and authorities offered no help.

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A stranded car on a flooded street in the city of Krymsk. Picture: AFP/ RUSSIA'S INTERIOR MINISTRY

"It's a catastrophe," said Viktor Voloshin, who arrived in the flood-ravaged town earlier today to help relatives whose house was damaged.

"People need drinking water but there is no drinking water being distributed," he said.

He also said people were afraid of leaving their houses for fear of looting even if their homes were destroyed.

"We have a 30-degree weather now, diseases will begin," he said.

Pensioner Lidia Polinina said her elderly neighbour had died after becoming trapped by the flood waters.

"She was paralysed, she couldn't get out of the house," she said.

"Everything has been destroyed. We need help pumping water out of the house, we have no drinking water.

"Our house was flooded to the ceiling, we could not open the door because of the water, so we broke the window to climb out.

"I put my five-year-old grandson on the roof of our submerged car, and then we somehow climbed up into the attic. I don't know how we managed to survive."

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A flooded street in the city of Krymsk. Picture: AFP/ RUSSIA'S INTERIOR MINISTRY

Polinia said local residents had received no warning or assistance.

Nearly 29,000 people remain without power across the region, the emergencies ministry said.

Flash floods frequently batter towns along the picturesque Black Sea coast during seasonal rains in the Caucasus mountains, but authorities say the current disaster is unprecedented.

Officials have been unable to explain the massive death toll, saying only that the floods were caused by torrential rains and caught many people in their sleep.

The force of the water was so ferocious that many residents said they suspected the floods were a man-made disaster caused by an opening of floodgates at a local water reservoir.

"Where did the water come from?" Putin asked government officials in televised remarks.

Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachev swiftly replied: "It was raining."

Tkachev had earlier called on people to stop spreading "stupid rumours", saying on Twitter that the region received five months' worth of rain.

But in a bid to address persistent concerns, Putin, wearing a black shirt, was shown on television grilling officials about whether an emergency release of water was possible at a reservoir on the local Neberdzhai River.

Following the meeting the Kremlin issued a statement saying Putin had been told an emergency release of water was not technically possible at the reservoir.

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An elderly woman whose home was affected by flood, sits in a kindergarten which is used as a temporary shelter in Krimsk.
Picture: AP Photo/Artur Lebedev Source: AP


Source: From: AFP - July 08, 2012 8:05PM

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