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Flooding in Far East Prompts State of Emergency

People standing next to a dam in the Far East in a photo released Thursday by the Emergency Situations Ministry.

Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov has declared a state of emergency in five regions of the Far East as 627 homes have flooded due to heavy rains.

As of Wednesday evening, the floods affected 795 people living in 17 local settlements, Interfax reported.

The flooding was caused by rising waters in the Zeya and Urkan rivers after several days of heavy rains in the Amur region.

Apart from damage to residential buildings, the flooding blocked local roads and destroyed three bridges.

Authorities have evacuated a total of 2,285 people from local settlements, including 940 children,  the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.

Puchkov visited the region, where authorities set up 65 centers of temporary accommodation for displaced residents. The minister declared states of emergency for the surrounding Amur, Primorye and Khabarovsk regions as well as the republic of Sakha and the Jewish autonomous region.

Water overflowing from the reservoir at the Zeyskaya hydroelectric plant has also complicated the situation. If the overflow increases, another 30 villages and the city of Blagoveshchensk may also be flooded.

Heavy rains are expected in the region for the next several days.

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