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Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 June 2014

Problems may not be over yet, warn meteorologists, as police are on high alert in 14 areas.

'People have begun asking for compensation. All documents should be prepared swiftly'. Picture from Barnaul: Andrey Lukovsky

At the peak, 29,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Altai regions, one of a number of Siberian regions hit by heavy rains. The dramatic flooding struck 72 villages in 14 rural areas and the city of Biysk. 

Some 8,756 houses and 9,087 farmlands were flooded.

Itar-Tass reported a lowering of water levels in the Katun, Anuya, Biya, Charysh and Perchanaya rivers. But meteorologists warned more rains are expected and this is why the situation remains tense.

Last week a state of emergency was declared in Altai Territory, the Republic of Khakassia and the Altai Republic. Water levels in the Tyva Republic also caused concern. A number of deaths - the figures are unclear - are attributed to the flooding. 

In the Altai Republic, the flood destroyed 230 kilometres of roads and 1.5 kilometres of the M52 Highway to Mongolia, as well as 15 bridges. 

'Foodstuffs, communication tools and engines are being delivered by horse-drawn vehicles', said a statement by the region's government. 

Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev called for a speedy assessment of the damage. 

'People have begun asking for compensation. All documents should be prepared swiftly', he said. 

Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years


Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years


Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years


Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years


Almost 21,500 people cannot return to their waterlogged homes after worst flooding in 45 years

In the Altai Republic, the flood destroyed 230 km of roads and 15 bridges. Pictures (taken end of May): Svetlana Shupenko

Emergencies Minister Vladimir Punchkov called for compensation from 10.000 roubles to 100,000 roubles. 

'I ask you to provide 50,000 roubles for partial loss of property and 100,000 roubles for total loss of property,' he told Medvedev. 'In addition, we propose to pay compensations to Russian regions for conducting rescue operations.'

His deputy said on Wednesday that there are hopes the crisis will ease.

'We think water levels will start to decline everywhere in two or three days unless weather conditions worsen drastically,' said Vladimir Stepanov.

Water levels had stabilised in Tyva and 'there has been 80% stabilization in Khakassia', he said. 

Rescue and evacuation teams from the Central Military District supplied food and water to stricken residents of villages in Shipunovsky District, Altai Territory.

'In the past 48 hours servicemen have delivered over 400 litres of fresh water, more than 50 kilos of cereals and  600 loaves of freshly baked bread,' said the Defence Ministry press office. 'Servicemen also continue supplies of medication.'

This summer's deluge follows severe floods in 2013 in the Far East of Russia when torrential rain led to the Amur and Zeya rivers bursting their banks. 

This resulted in the worst flooding for at least 120 years.

The total damage amounted to 527 billion roubles. 

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