Massive flooding in the Krasnodar region in Russia’s south has left 78 dead and over 1,000 displaced from their homes as the death toll continues to rise. Governor Aleksandr Tkachyov claims there hasn’t been anything like it for the past 70 years.
Entire city streets have been completely submerged after torrential rain storms Friday, with the Krymsky district taking the worst of the floods, according to the governor. “Gelendzhik is in better condition, there’s almost no water left there.”
“In the Krymsky district alone according to available information, 56 bodies have found. Two have been killed in Novorossiysk and nine in the Gelendzhik district, among which was a 10 year old child,” Igor Zhelyabin, the police press-secretary in the region, says.
The flood waters came on so strong that 4 people were killed on impact. Zhelyabin also mentioned that among the missing was a nine year old girl, ripped from her mother and sisters arms by the force of the current.
The speed of the flood was also shocking, carrying away not only homes, but 16 ton trucks as well, according to eye-witnesses. One driver said his truck was literally carried tens of meters by the waters.
The city of Krymsk is still half submerged, with the water only receding in certain areas, complicating rescue efforts.
An Emergency Services plane has already departed for Anapa from Moscow carrying helicopters and rescue teams in order to join the rescue and repair efforts already underway in the region, as the number of victims continues to mount.
“We are in the process of identifying the victims – some are local residents, some are vacationers,” said Zhelyabin. The local police have formed an emergency commission to deal with the situation as reinforcements arrive from Moscow.
Governor of the Krasnodar region Aleksandr Tkachyov surveyed the damage in the Gelendzhik and Krymsky districts from a helicopter in order to estimate repairs, sending updates on the situation via Twitter. “It is spectacular, to be sure, and very tragic. The water came with such force that it tore up the asphalt,” the governor wrote, commenting on a picture of one of the main streets of the city where the flood hit hardest.
Over a meter of water crashed over the intersection of Ostrovsky and Kirov Street in the center of Gelendzhik, ripping up the pavement and sweeping away everything in its path. According to the city administration, 320 homes have been flooded, displacing over 1,290 residents. The damaged buildings include a kindergarten. Homes have also been flooded in Novorossiysk.
Authorities in the Perm region of Russia have dispatched their own rescue to team to evacuate 200 children who were at a summer camp. The children from Perm were on vacation in the area when the storms hit. “The children have no contact with the Ministry of Emergencies or the local authorities in Gelendzhik. For two days now they have been without supplies and electricity,” said Viktor Basargin, Governor of the Perm Region. “We have decided to take action on the issue of their evacuation.”
The flooding occurred in the aftermath of a giant storm that swept through the region on July 6th, depositing twice the monthly amount of rainfall on the population in one night.
The most heavily affected areas are along the Russian Black Sea coast, standing directly in the path of the torrential waters as they rushed out to sea.
11 passenger trains have been diverted in the region as water level remained at half a meter above the tracks. In the Novorossiysk region 29 passenger trains have been delayed.
“All the trains that were scheduled to arrive at the Novorossiysk Station have been redirected and will now arrive at Anapa station, where passengers will transported to Novorossiysk by bus,” according to Yelena Miroshnikova, representative of the Federal Russian railway companies.
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