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Floods hit Russia, Federal Emergency Declared as Floods Ravage Orenburg Region

Floods hit Russia, Federal Emergency Declared as Floods Ravage Orenburg Region
Source: Getty Images, Floods hit Russia, Federal Emergency Declared as Floods Ravage Orenburg Region

In a swift response to the catastrophic floods that have submerged the Orenburg region, the Russian government has declared a federal emergency. The declaration came as the Ural River's water levels surged, causing widespread destruction and prompting urgent evacuation efforts.

The city of Orsk, situated less than 20 kilometers from the Kazakhstan border, bore the brunt of the disaster when a dam burst under the pressure of the rising waters. The breach resulted in over 4,500 residential buildings being inundated, affecting the lives of the city's 200,000 residents. The regional government has reported that the total damage from the flood is estimated to be around 21 billion rubles (approximately $227 million).

Evacuation efforts are ongoing, with more than 4,000 people, including 885 children, having been moved to safety. However, the situation remains dire as the water level in Orsk reached 9.7 meters, significantly higher than the dam's capacity to withstand, which is up to 5.5 meters.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Kurenkov arrived in Orsk to oversee the rescue operations. A federal emergency status allows for federal assistance and coordination to supplement state and local efforts, which is crucial in managing the crisis effectively.

A criminal investigation has been initiated to probe suspected construction violations that may have led to the dam's failure. Meanwhile, the regional capital of Orenburg, some 250 kilometers away, is also grappling with rising water levels, leading to over 1,300 homes being flooded and the evacuation of 428 people.

The Ural River, which flows through Russia and Kazakhstan, has become a source of concern as its rising levels continue to pose a threat to the surrounding regions. The flood's impact extends beyond immediate property damage, as it disrupts lives, displaces communities, and poses long-term challenges for the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

As the situation unfolds, the Russian government's declaration of a federal emergency underscores the severity of the natural disaster and the need for a coordinated response to address the humanitarian and infrastructural crises that have arisen. Please kindly share this article before you leave. Thanks for your support