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Russia evacuates thousands amid floods in Ural region

April 8, 2024

Russia says thousands of homes have been flooded because of rising river levels in the Urals and surrounding regions.

A view of a flood-hit area in the town of Orsk on April 8, 2024
Russia declared a federal emergency in the Orenburg region on SundayImage: Yegor Aleyev/TASS/dpa/picture alliance

Russia on Monday said more than 10,000 homes had been flooded in the Ural and Volga regions, as well as Western Siberia.

Officials said thousands of people have been evacuated, particularly in the Orenburg region near
, after swiftly melting snow caused the Ural River to swell.

How serious is the flooding?

Moscow declared a federal emergency on Sunday because of flooding in the region, where the overflow of the Ural River left much of Orsk under water. 

The Ural River, which has its source in the Ural Mountains and flows into the Caspian Sea, surged by several meters in just an hour.

The rising water levels broke through a dam embankment in Orsk, 1,800 km (1,100 miles) east of Moscow.

In images published by the Emergencies Ministry, people could be seen wading through neck-high waters. 

Russian dam bursts after days of unrelenting rain

Russian President Vladimir Putin is being briefed on the regions affected by "nature anomalies" in real-time, the Kremlin said. It added that Putin had ordered Emergencies Minister Alexander Kurenkov to fly to the region.

Officials have also warned of "inevitable" floods in the Kurgan and Tyumen regions of western Siberia. Tyumen Governor Alexander Moor on Monday declared a state of emergency due to the risk of flooding.

rc/ab (AFP, Reuters)