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Russia floods: Water level reaches new high in Orenburg

April 13, 2024

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated in Russia and Kazakhstan as the worst flooding in decades continues. In Orenburg, floodwaters rose higher than official expectations.

Flooded houses in Orenburg, Russia on April 13, 2024
Thousands of homes were inundated in the Russian city of OrenburgImage: ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP/Getty Images

Floodwaters in the Russian city of Orenburg passed official expectations to reach a record high on Saturday, after days of floods along the Ural River.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Russia's worst flooding in decades was caused by winter's heavy snowfall melting faster than expected in April.

Flooding continues in Orenburg

On Saturday, the water level of the Ural River reached almost 12 meters (39 feet) in Orenburg — more than 2.5 meters above the level considered critical.

"We expect this to be the plateau: There will be no further rise, the situation will stabilize and then the decline will begin," Governor Denis Pasler wrote on Telegram.

Tens of thousands of Kazakhs, Russians flee floods

Around 3,000 houses were underwater in the city alone.

"There has been an increase in the number of homes flooded since this morning and more areas are being evacuated," Eldar Rakhmetov, an official from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, across Russia, more than 120,000 people have been evacuated.

Flooding in Orenburg on April 13, 2024
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuateImage: ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP/Getty Images

Evacuations and cancellations in Kazakhstan

Flooding also reached neighboring Kazakhstan, particularly the northern city of Petropavlovsk where power was affected.

More than 103,000 people were evacuated across the country, according to the Kazakh Emergency Situations Ministry.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also canceled the Astana International Forum that was planned for mid-June "due to the severe flooding in Kazakhstan and the need to allocate financial resources for the relief efforts and aid for affected citizens."

zc/wd (dpa, Reuters, AFP)