Flood levels rise in Russia

Flood levels rise in Russia



Severe flooding has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in Russia and Kazakhstan, with water levels in the Ural River rising to record highs in the city of Orenburg on Friday, authorities said.

Rapidly rising temperatures caused snow and ice to melt, and along with heavy rains, many major rivers across Russia and Kazakhstan flooded.

In western Siberia, the Ishim River has also risen to dangerous levels, according to Tyumen regional authorities. Authorities predict that the Ishim and Tobol rivers will reach their highest levels around April 23-25.

In Orenburg, the water level in the Ural River reached 11.29 meters (37 feet), two meters above the critical water level, city officials said. In some parts of the city, only the roofs of houses were visible above the brown water.

Regional official Sergei Balikin told RIA Novosti state news agency that Orenburg's peak would only arrive on Friday or Saturday. Officials said more than 10,700 people out of a population of more than 400,000 were evacuated and about 11,700 homes were flooded.

Further east, several villages have also been evacuated in the Kurgan and Tomsk regions.

It is estimated that around 100,000 people have fled their homes in Russia and Kazakhstan.

However, authorities said the situation in Orsk, which was heavily damaged after the dam burst, had improved. Officials said water levels were falling again.

Although rare in Russia under the current government, there have been reports of some demonstrations by residents of the town angry over the handling of the crisis.

A direct link between flooding and global warming has not been confirmed. But experts say rising global temperatures will lead to heavy rains that could cause flooding.

Source: guardian.ng

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