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World Cup Stadium Grounds Washed Away by Rain

Artyom Tikhonov / Vkontakte

Heavy rainfall has washed away soil outside one of Russia’s World Cup stadiums before the football tournament ended on Sunday.

Photos and videos on social media showed clay soil eroding around the $270-million Volgograd Arena, while footage from inside the venue depicted flooded stalls and staircases. Authorities declared a state of emergency Sunday after heavy rains nearly paralyzed the southern Russian city.

“The new stadium’s foundation did not let the water through, and rainwater eroded the top layer of fertile soil,” the head of the administration told the local news website.

Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov blamed the flood, which took place on the last day of the World Cup, on subpar drainage systems.

The city on the Volga River has previously been subject to severe heat, swarms of gnats and vipers crawling toward the stadium during the month-long tournament.

Rain also eroded roads and sidewalks in the World Cup host city of Nizhny Novgorod last week, Varlamov wrote.

The emergency in Volgograd was not all bad news, as at least one resident took advantage of the flood to sail the streets on a floating mattress.

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