May 26, 2024

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Floods in Russia: Record water levels threaten the city of Orenburg

Floods in Russia: Record water levels threaten the city of Orenburg

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Entire areas of Orsk were under water after the dam burst

The Russian city of Orenburg is bracing for widespread flooding as rivers overflow across regions bordering Kazakhstan.

Worse-than-normal seasonal flooding was caused by melting snow from the Ural Mountains, prompting evacuations across the region.

The Ural River, the third longest river in Europe, flowed through a dam in the city of Orsk at the weekend.

In Orenburg, a city with a population of 500,000 located 300 kilometers downstream, water is expected to reach record levels.

Parts of the Ural Mountains, western Siberia and the Volga basin were exposed to floods. More than 10,000 homes were flooded, according to the Ministry of Emergencies.

“High air temperatures, active snow melting, and river openings are expected,” the ministry said in a statement.

In Orenburg, about 1,500 kilometers southeast of Moscow, the Ural River is expected to reach unprecedented levels, reaching its peak on Wednesday.

“Certainly everyone who is in the flood zone should leave their homes,” city mayor Sergei Salmin said on Monday.

About 6,000 people have already been evacuated from the Orenburg region.

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Thousands of people in Orsk were forced to leave their homes

On Monday, the Kurgan and Tyumen regions, east of the Ural Mountains, declared a state of emergency and urged people to leave the floodplains.

His office said President Vladimir Putin asked the government to form a committee to deal with the emergency.

In Orsk, the worst-hit city so far, residents protested the official response on Monday.

Videos posted on social media showed about 100 people chanting “Shame!” And “helping Putin” in a rare show of opposition in Russia.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that this is the worst natural disaster the country has witnessed in 80 years.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurlan Baibazarov said on Monday that more evacuations would be carried out as the Ural River water levels continued to rise.

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Authorities said 10,000 people were in the flood zone

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