Thousands in Russia’s Orenburg forced to evacuate as ‘critical’ flooding causes dam burst

Dam burst threatens over 230,000 people with flooding

Vishwam Sankaran
Saturday 06 April 2024 08:12 BST
Related video: Teenagers rescued from thin ice on Ural River in Orenburg, Russia

Thousands of people living in Russia’s Orenburg region have been forced to evacuate after severe flooding caused a dam to burst in the Ural river.

"Don't wait for the situation to become threatening! Leave! You need to evacuate as quickly as possible," the region's mayor Sergei Salmin told residents, Reuters reported.

The situation in the city, about 1,500 km (930 miles) east of Moscow, is "critical" and some 300 houses have already been submerged, according to the mayor.

Several parts of the Russian Siberian and Ural mountains as well as neighbouring parts of Kazakhstan have been hit with floods in recent days and a state of emergency has been declared in Orenburg.

Officials say a burst dam in the city of Orsk, about 276 km (171 miles) east of Orenburg, threatens over 230,000 people with flooding.

Two of the three districts of Orsk – Leninsky and Sovetsky – are being evacuated as up to 4,000 houses with over 10,000 residents near the city could be inundated, officials told Russian state news agency TASS.

Russian Siberia Swamped With Floods

The Russian emergencies ministry said over 440 relief workers and 217 pieces of equipment have been deployed to deal with the aftermath of the collapsed dam.

So far, over 100 people including more than 50 children have been evacuated to temporary shelters, TASS reported.

Unverified videos shared on Telegram show water gushing through a break in a dam near Orsk.

Officials claim they have helped over 3,500 people affected by flooding.

"Work in the area of the dam rupture in Orsk continues," the Russian emergencies ministry said in a statement.

Flooding in Kazakhstan caused by snowmelt due to warm weather has caused thousands of people to be displaced across the country.

More than 33,000 animals have also been driven away to a safe distance due to the flooding.

At least 19,000 people, including more than 6,000 children have been displaced with over 1,400 buildings, and 55 roads submerged, the country’s prime minister’s office said on its website.

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