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Flooding Emergency Declared in Far East Russia’s Sakha

Flooding in a Sakha village. Russian Emergencies Ministry

Authorities in Far East Russia’s republic of Sakha (Yakutia) have declared a state of emergency after seasonal flooding submerged hundreds of homes and forced residents to move to temporary shelters.

Nearly 450 homes and more than 550 land plots have been flooded since the Lena River, with a length of 4,294 kilometers, started overflowing last week due to ice jams, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry said at least one elderly woman was rescued and later hospitalized. More than 300 displaced residents, including 71 children, have been placed in temporary shelters.

Videos shared on social media showed entire villages submerged underwater and rescue workers navigating the affected areas by boat.

Sakha Governor Aysen Nikolaev on Monday declared a region-wide emergency “due to the difficult flood situation in a number of districts of the republic.”

“Khatyryk village was last flooded about 100 years ago, so it’s a big blow for people,” Nikolaev said.

In a video of his visit to the flood-stricken areas, the governor heard one elderly resident telling him that the water “didn’t arrive slowly, but in waves,” while another claimed that “we’ve never been flooded.”

Russia’s Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Kurenkov is reportedly scheduled to travel to the Sakha on Wednesday.

Spring flooding caused by melting ice is a regular occurrence in some parts of Russia, but heavy rainfall, combined with abnormally warm spring weather, has led to severe flooding in Russia’s Urals and western Siberia over the past two months.

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