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Medvedev Calls Flood Damage Assessments a 'Joke'

Medvedev speaking with the residents of the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday ordered the commissions responsible for assessing flood damage to houses in Komsomolsk-on-Amur to redo their work, accusing them up of trying to avoid having to provide new housing for people affected by this summer's record-breaking floods.

Buildings that are "75-percent damaged" can not be repaired and must be demolished, housing regulations state, RIA Novosti reported. One resident said a commission estimated that her house had only been 74 percent damaged, meaning that it is eligible for repairs, but not a rebuild.

"It looks like they are intentionally lowering the percentage," Medvedev said, adding that it looked like the commissions were "mocking people."

Earlier, presidential envoy in the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev said a fifth of all houses in the Far East were unsuitable for living in due to the floods.

Medvedev also criticized the mayor of Komsomolsk-on-Amur for not protecting the interests of the city's residences well enough.

"You should be more attentive to people," Medvedev told Mayor Vladimir Mikhalev during a visit to a temporary shelter for flood victims.

Medvedev earlier visited a school that was closed Sept. 4 due to flood damage and met local residents who complained about the authorities' lack of attention to their problems. During the visit Medvedev told the mayor to resolve people's problems at local level before they reach the governor or the prime minister.

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