Floods affect tens of thousands in Russia
Three regions north of China not far from the Sea of Okhotsk affected
Catastrophic flooding has prompted the evacuation of thousands upon thousands of people in Russia's Far East, a government ministry said Sunday, spurring hasty efforts to set up housing for the displaced.
Russia's emergency ministry said Sunday that 18,000 people had been affected in three regions north of China not far from the Sea of Okhotsk. RIA Novosti, a state-run news agency, identified the affected regions as the Amur region, Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region.
This report, citing an emergency ministry spokesperson, had an even larger number of people affected after heavy rains spurred the floods -- 32,000, of which 17,000 had been evacuated.
The evacuees had lived in thousands of homes and apartment buildings across 121 towns and villages, including Amurskaya Oblast, Khabarovskiy Krai and Evreiskaya Oblast that were particularly devastated.
Authorities rushed to set up 166 temporary shelters and move in food, water and medical supplies, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said, according to RIA Novosti. That report said a plane had headed to the city of Blagoveshchensk with 53 tons of aid, including food, life jackets and boats.
The amount of rain should decrease, and the pace water levels are rising should slow down after Tuesday, said local environmental official Vyacheslav Parshin.
The emergency ministry's report made no mention that anyone had been killed or injured as a result.
But flooding in the expansive nation of Russia has proved deadly before.
Last July, at least 141 people died after floods surged through southern Russia's Krasnodar region, state-run media reported, citing Russia's Interior Ministry.
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