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Water levels rise and homes flood in Russia after a dam bursts near the Kazakhstan border

Russian authorities rushed to help homeowners displaced by flooding as water levels in the Urals rose, authorities said Wednesday.

Floods in the Orenburg region, near the Russia-Kazakhstan border, prompted the evacuation of thousands of people following the events. dam collapse SATURDAY. The Russian government has declared the situation a federal emergency. Although President Vladimir Putin is frequently shown on Russian state television meeting with officials and traveling around the country, the Kremlin has said it has no plans yet to visit the flood-hit region.

The water level of the river in the city of Orenburg was above 10 meters on Wednesday, the state news agency Ria Novosti reported, citing the regional governor. Photos shared by Russian media showed water-covered roads, submerged fields and partially submerged homes.

Water was approaching high-rise buildings, Ria Novosti said, and more than 300 homes were flooded overnight, according to the official Tass news agency.

Residents of the town of Orsk gathered in a rare protest on Monday, demanding compensation after their homes were damaged. The protests are unusual in Russia, where authorities have systematically cracked down on any form of dissent after Putin’s decision. invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of people gathered outside Orsk’s administrative building on Monday, and videos posted on Russian social media showed people chanting “Putin, help us!” and “Shame!”

Other videos on social media showed angry Russians refusing to leave areas near their homes, saying thieves were looting abandoned homes with boats.

The flooding prompted the Orsk oil refinery to suspend operations, Interfax reported.

The floods forced more than 4,000 people, including 885 children, clear out in the Orenburg region, the regional government announced on Sunday. Tass said on Monday that around 10,000 homes, including some 7,000 in Orsk, had been flooded.

Following the protest, Tass reported that Orenburg region governor Denis Pasler promised to pay compensation to those affected, including 10,000 rubles ($108) per month for six months to those forced to leave their homes. home due to flooding.

Total flood damage in the region is estimated at around 21 billion rubles ($227 million), the regional government announced on Sunday.

A criminal investigation was opened to investigate alleged construction violations that could have caused the dam to fail. Local authorities said the dam could withstand water levels of up to 5.5 meters (nearly 18 feet). On Sunday, the level in Orsk reached 9.7 meters (31.82 feet), according to Russian water level information site AllRivers.

The Ural River, approximately 2,428 kilometers (1,509 miles) long, flows from the southern part of the Ural Mountains to the northern tip of the Caspian Sea, passing through Russia and Kazakhstan.

News Source : apnews.com
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