Russia declares federal emergency amid flooding in Orenburg region

Orsk city most affected in Orenburg, flooding also recorded in neighboring regions, says governor

Russia on Sunday declared a federal emergency in the country’s Orenburg region after flooding in and around the area caused by a burst in a section of an embankment dam in the city of Orsk late Friday.

“Taking into account the current situation and the reports we have heard, I propose to classify the emergency situation in the Orenburg region as a federal emergency and establish a federal level of response,” Russian Emergency Situations Minister Aleksandr Kurenkov said amid a visit to the Orsk city, according to local media.

A statement by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry quoted Kurenkov saying that more than 6,000 residential buildings, 9,000 household plots, and 40 low-water bridges remain flooded in the Orenburg region.

Some 2,518 residential buildings and 4,587 household plots were flooded in the city of Orsk alone, Kurenkov noted and said more than 4,000 people were evacuated, including 885 children.

“Flood conditions can change rapidly. All forces and means must be kept in a state of constant readiness. If necessary, make decisions in a timely manner, including on the evacuation of the population,” Kurenkov was also quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Orenburg Mayor Sergey Salmin said on Telegram that the situation in the region “remained critical,” and that water levels are rising and will continue to rise in the coming days.

“It must be said that Orsk took the main, first blow of the elements,” Orenburg Governor Denis Pasler told the state news agency TASS, adding that flooding is recorded along the entire bed of the Ural River, including the Chelyabinsk region and the Russian Republic of Bashkiria.

Late Friday, a section of a dam in the city of Orsk burst due to “untimely measures taken to maintain the hydraulic structure in proper technical condition,” the regional prosecutor’s office said, according to the Russian media outlets.

Also, in neighboring Kazakhstan, the country’s Emergency Situations Ministry said on Saturday that flooding was reported in the Akmola, Aktobe, Atyrau, Kostanay, Pavlodar, and North Kazakhstan regions, where over 46,000 people were evacuated, including 14,589 children.


Sergei Sokolov is editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The journalist has now been arrested and sentenced to a fine.


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