Sat. May 25th, 2024

Russian authorities issued urgent warnings on Monday as a massive surge of river water hurtled towards the west Siberian city of Kurgan, prompting calls for immediate evacuations in vulnerable districts. The country, along with Kazakhstan, grapples with catastrophic floods that have already displaced thousands of people, with the Tobol and Ishim rivers anticipated to crest this week.

The dire alert for Kurgan, home to approximately 310,000 residents, coincides with preparations in the neighboring Tyumen region for the impending flood onslaught, while some areas in the southern Urals witness a receding waterline. Governor Vadim Shumkov of Kurgan underscored the gravity of the situation, stating that the flood head was a mere 10 kilometers (six miles) from the city, emphasizing the overwhelming volume of water at hand.

Shumkov revealed that in addition to the swelling Tobol river and its tributaries, over 1.3 billion cubic meters of water were surging from Kazakhstan, a volume surpassing that of the significant 1994 flood in Kurgan. As the velocity of water flow intensified, he urged residents in at-risk areas to evacuate promptly, with reinforcement efforts underway for rescue and law enforcement services.

Across the border in the Tyumen region, authorities initiated evacuations from eight villages along the rising Tobol river, cautioning about the Ishim river’s escalating overflow. Governor Alexander Moor highlighted the rapidly escalating situation, with the Ishim river anticipated to reach historic peak levels, prompting deliberations on mandatory evacuations to mitigate potential devastation.

In a bid to address the mounting crisis, Russia’s Emergency Minister, Alexander Kurenkov, engaged with affected residents in the beleaguered city of Orsk in the Urals, which has borne the brunt of the floods. Amid rare public protests over the handling of the crisis and compensation issues, Kurenkov assured residents of governmental support, pledging assistance with compensation and rehabilitation efforts.

The Emergency Situations Ministry disclosed that 3,725 residential structures remained submerged in Orsk, necessitating the evacuation of over 2,500 individuals, with more than 600 seeking refuge in temporary accommodations. As authorities confront the unfolding disaster, the focus remains on safeguarding vulnerable communities and mitigating the impact of the surging waters across affected regions.

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