99 Die in Devastating Flash Floods in Russia

World | July 7, 2012, Saturday // 18:49|  views

The floods caused by torrential rains and the overflowing of the Kuban River are said to be the worst in Russia's Krasnodar region at least in the last 70 years. Photo by BGNES

At least 99 deaths are reported in the aftermath of floods caused by torrential rains and the overflowing of the Kuban River in the southern Krasnodar region of Russia.

The flash floods hit the area overnight after the rain dumped as much as 28 cm of water. They are said to be the worst in Krasnodar at least in the last 70 years.

The death toll is the highest in the town of Krymsk, where at least 88 people have died.

BBC reports that users of social media networks in Russia said Krymsk looked like it was hit "by a tsunami". Some suspect that the authorities are not telling the whole truth about the disaster.

Russian TV aired footage showing thousands of nearly completely submerged houses and people scrambling onto their rooftops to escape.

At least nine have died in the Gelendzhik resort and two in Novorossiysk. There a fears that the death toll will rise further since scores of people are reportedly missing. A statement by the Krasnodar regional administration lists the number of those affected by the floods at 13 000.

Crude oil shipments from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk have suspended. The Krasnodar-Novorossiysk highway is cut, and the transport system in the region is in the state of collapse.

Emergency teams have been sent from Moscow by plane and helicopter. Up to 1 000 rescuers are taking part in the search and rescue effort. Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov is on his way to the region while President, Vladimit Putin is receiving real time news in Moscow.

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Tags: flash, floods, Russia, death toll, Krymsk, Novorossyisk, Gelendzhik, Vladimir Puchkov, Vladimir Putin, torrential rains, overflowing, Kuban River, Krasnodar


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