Monday, July 9, 2012

Russian Floods Kill 152 People in Krasnodar Region

Flooding caused by heavy rains in southern Russia’s Krasnodar region has killed 153 people in Krymsk, Gelendzhik and Novorossiysk, according to state television Rossiya 24.

More than 12,000 people and about 5,200 homes were affected in the area on and near the Black Sea coast, the Emergency Ministry said today in a statement on its website. Oil loading at the port of Novorossiysk has resumed, according to OAO Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a day of mourning for tomorrow, according to a Kremlin statement. Four summer camps for children will be evacuated, while the situation in neighboring resorts will be monitored, Interfax said, citing Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.

Water rose seven meters (22 feet) in some places as rain- swollen rivers including the Adagum burst their banks, according to the Krasnodar administration’s website. Putin, who traveled to Krasnodar yesterday, authorized compensation of 2 million rubles ($60,800) to each family that suffered a fatality, the administration said on its website.

More Heavy Rains

Russia’s Emergency Ministry said more heavy rains are expected tonight and tomorrow in the Krasnodar region, while wind may reach 22 meters per second. There is a probability of flooding the territories located at low altitude and houses, transportation and agriculture plantings could suffer damage, the ministry said. Putin yesterday rebuked emergency services for not warning people properly about the severity of the conditions.

Russia’s last comparable flood killed 104 people in the Northern Caucasus region in 2002, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, which described that disaster at the time as the country’s worst flood in 100 years. The deadliest flood in Russian history, in St. 
Petersburg in 1824, claimed 10,000 lives.

Railroad traffic to the Black Sea coast, disrupted because of the flooding, resumed this morning, Russian Railways said in a statement on its website today. Authorities will need three more days to restore electricity in Krymsk, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the Krasnodar flooding, it said on its website. A release of water from the nearby Neberdzhaevskoye reservoir that day was routine and couldn’t have caused the disaster, the committee said.

Another reason for tomorrow’s day of mourning is the death of 14 religious pilgrims from northwest Russia in a bus crash in Ukraine, where they planned to see the Pochayiv monastery, according to the Kremlin. 

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