Russia – Krasnodar flood death toll lower than reported
The devastating flash flooding in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region killed 162 people not 171 as it had been earlier reported by the media, Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman told reporters July 10.
According to the official, investigators have more detailed information as their staff is engaged in search and rescue operation in the troubled region.
Krasnodar region flooding: Medvedev pledges new houses by Oct
New houses and necessary infrastructure facilities for people affected by the deadly flooding in Russia’s Krasnodar regionmust be built by late October, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
He stressed that no delays in construction works will be tolerated.
The flooding which hit the towns of Krymsk, Gelendzhik and Novorossiyisk, as well as some villages of the Krasnodar region has claimed 162 lives and affected 34,500 people, leaving many of them homeless.
Meanwhile, thousands of volunteers all across Russia are collecting humanitarian aid to send it to the flooded area.
Dozens of aid posts are open in Moscow where volunteers are packing food, clothes and medicines for the people affected by the disaster.
Tropical storm in Kuban – abnormal natural disaster
The Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Tuesday that rescuers have wrapped up an active phase of a search-and-rescue operation in Kuban which was hard hit by flash flooding caused by torrential rains on July 7.
Thousands of houses located in the cities of Gelendzhik, Krymsk and Novorossiysk, as well as a number of villages in Russia’s Krasnodar region were submerged. At least 162 people were killed and 20.000 more displaced in the flooding.
Meteorologists have, meanwhile, said that a threat of abnormal natural calamities will persist due to climate change.
The July 7 flash floods were not a bolt from the blue, of course. The Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia issued a storm warning several hours before the beginning of a torrential rain in Kuban, a natural disaster that led to catastrophic consequences. Pavel Konstantinov, a Moscow-based climate change expert, points to an unprecedented situation in the Western Caucasus’s sub-mountain areas with subtropical climate.
“Torrential rains typically occur in the Eastern Caucasus’s cities of Sochi and Tuapse, while Gelendzhik is located in the Western Caucasus where a dry subtropical climate is in place, Konstantinov says. The precipitation level was about 300 mm in Gelendzhik on July 7, something that is six times higher than a month’s normal level. The region’s rugged relief added significantly to the aftermath of the floods,” Konstantinov adds.
According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 1.100 people applied for medical aid in the wake of the floods, with more than 200 people still in hospitals. More than 3.000 people were evacuated from the Krymsk district where thousands of dwelling houses were inundated. The district’s transport infrastructure was disrupted which was also the case with gas, water and power supply. Currently coping with the aftermath are 10.000 rescuers and several hundred units of equipment. They have already restored several major roads and electricity supply in an array of children’s health resorts in Gelendzhik. Also, the Krymsk-Novorossiysk railway traffic has been resumed, emergency officials said. The government allocated 4 billion rubles, or more than 133 million dollars, to tackle the floods and shore up all those affected by the natural disaster. About 2.000 of them have already got a total of 20 million rubles, or more than 650.000 dollars. Mikhail Vinogradov, head of the Moscow-based Center for Legal and Psychological Assistance in Emergency Situations, heaped praise on psychological support that is currently being provided to relatives of flash floods’ victims and all those affected by the disaster.
“Psychologists of the Russian Emergencies Ministry are on the spot, trying hard to comfort relatives of the victims and all those displaced, Vinogradov says, praising psychologists’ individual approach to the matter.”
Meteorologists said on Tuesday that they do not rule out more heavy rains in Kuban in the coming days. The forecast came after the Russian Foreign Ministry denied rumors about a possible second wave of what was the region’s worst flooding for 100 years. Pavel Konstantinov, on his part, referred to the ongoing climate change which he warned may cause a repeat of the June 7 torrential rains in Kuban in the next few years. “This can be explained by an ever-increasing number of abnormal natural disasters, caused by climate change, and we should be ready to address such challenges in the future,” Konstantinov concludes.
RIA, TASS, Yelena Kovachich
Jul 10, 2012 19:16