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No relief from flood disaster in Russia

No relief from flood disaster in Russia

There are no signs of relief from the flood disaster in southern Russia and northern Kazakhstan. Water levels in the Ural River and other rivers in the region continued to rise today after the rapid melting of snow. The situation was particularly dire in Orenburg, Russia, located about 1,200 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

Large parts of the city, which has a population of 550,000 people, are now flooded. The Ural Mountains there swelled to 10.54 metres, or just 124 centimeters above the level that authorities consider safe. More and more people were forced to leave their homes and leave their possessions behind.

In total, more than 110,000 people were forced to flee to safety in the affected areas. So far, there are 97,000 people in Kazakhstan alone, and its north, along with the regions located in the Russian Ural Mountains, are considered the most affected.

But water is also rising in some areas of the Volga, Europe's longest river, as well as in southwestern Siberia, such as in the city of Tomsk and in the Kurgan region bordering Kazakhstan.

Criticism of the authorities

In Orenburg, there was increasing criticism of the authorities and their management of the crises. Residents demanded more financial support and assistance from President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said Putin would be regularly informed of the situation.

However, he is not currently planning to visit the affected area. “There is great excitement, discontent and strong feelings, which I understand and share,” Orenburg Mayor Sergei Zalmin said. The issue of compensation and payment processing procedures caused particular concern.

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