Putin calls on residents to evacuate

Putin calls on residents to evacuate

Concerned residents are reluctant to leave their homes for fear of “looting.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on residents of areas affected by floods to follow evacuation calls, as waters continue to rise in the Siberian regions of Kurgan and Tyumen.

“Why don’t people leave? They are afraid for their property and homes. We have to convince them that everything will be protected.”The Russian President launched during a video conference with the governors of the affected regions, in particular the Kurgan, Tyumen and Orenburg regions, images of which were broadcast on television. Several people interviewed by AFP in recent days in the Orenburg region said they feared looting.

3,000 homes were flooded

And in the Kurgan region “More than 14,300 people were evacuated from flooded areas, including 1,833 children.”This was particularly emphasized by the governor of the region, Vadim Shumkov, during the meeting with Mr. Putin. According to Mr. Shumkov, more than 3,000 homes in 25 districts of his district were flooded and swept away by the Tobol River, whose waters have been rising for several days. Residents of the city of Kurgan itself, which has a population of about 300,000 and some of whose neighborhoods have already been flooded, were also called to quickly evacuate.

“Take your children, loved ones with special needs and the elderly, and do not leave your pets in danger areas. (…) Go! Don't wait for water to reach your home.”City authorities warned on Telegram. Currently, about 435 people have been evacuated from the neighboring Tyumen region, which was also swept away by the flooded Ishim River. But local authorities expect the situation to worsen in the coming days. “We are waiting for the wave that should come from the Kurgan region.”With water levels that could exceed by more than two metres, a record reached in 2017, regional governor Alexander Moore announced. In Orenburg, amid floods in recent days, the level of the Ural River began to fall, but remained high, 1,099 cm, the Orenburg municipality reported.

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The floods affecting these Russian regions – as well as neighboring Kazakhstan – are caused by heavy rains associated with rising temperatures and increased melting of snow and ice. According to scientists, global warming favors extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall.

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