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MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Monday that the flood-stricken Krymsk would be cleaned from all garbage and debris by weekend.
“We plan to finish the cleaning of the entire territory in the course of this week. Today, we’ve got down to emergency repairs of socially important facilities,” Puchkov told an extraordinary meeting of the Public Council set up under the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
Puchkov said that many more houses had been destroyed by flood than initially estimated.
“We had information that 400 households had been completely destroyed. Now, this figure has considerably increased,” the emergencies minister went on to say.
Puchkov said that examination of the condition of all houses would be over by July 18 and that construction of new housing would start on July 20.
Puchkov said that rescuers of the Russian Emergencies Ministry saved almost 900 people during the disaster.
“I closely followed the situation in the region. Our employees arrived in the emergency area 45 seconds after receiving an alarm call. It’s thanks to them that 852 people were rescued,” Puchkov stressed.
“All our employees showed courage, heroism and selflessness. I can give you dozens of examples,” Puchkov said, noting there were certainly some shortcomings in the rescuers’ work. At the same time, Puchkov said that an expert group was studying all problems linked to the single early warning system and liquidation of emergencies.
Puchkov said that an anti-crisis management system has been created in the Krymsk region.
In turn, Vladimir Markin, an official spokesman for the Russian Investigations Committee, said on Monday that investigators would use photos received from Russian, American and Italian satellites in their investigation into the flood causes.
In the meantime, the Russian Orthodox Church is sending a group of volunteers to Krymsk.
“Fifty theological pupils will arrive in Kuban region on Tuesday. They will set in order flood-damaged houses, clean the streets from garbage and work in a church headquarters set up at the Church of Archangel Michael in Krymsk to help the people affected by floods,” a source at the Synod’s department for church charity and social service, told Itar-Tass.
“Students from the Russian Orthodox University and the St. Tikhon Humanitarian University are already working in Krymsk,” the source went on to say. The volunteer group includes students and teachers of the Moscow and St. Petersburg theological academies and theological schools of the Sretenka, Pererva and Nikolo-Ugresh monasteries.
Bishop Panteleimon, the head of the charity department, will visit Krymsk on Tuesday. He will lead a service at the Church of Archangel Michael which houses a crisis management center that helps the flood victims.
About 30 volunteers are constantly working at the center. Automobile teams deliver water, medicaments, food products and personal hygiene means directly to doorsteps. A field kitchen and a first-aid post are working. Clergymen are on duty at the Russian Emergencies Ministry crisis management center. They render psychological assistance to the flood victims.
The church crisis center has received and distributed over 700 tons of relief aid in the three days that followed the tragedy in the Krasnodar territory. About 17,000 people in Krymsk and the nearby villages have received hot meals.