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Flood situation in Far East remains complicated

August 09, 2013, 14:03 UTC+3

Locals are advised to to switch off gas, water utilities and take valuable items

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Far East regional EMERCOM center press service

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Far East regional EMERCOM center press service

MOSCOW, August 9 (Itar-Tass) - The flood situation in the Far East remains complicated, but under control, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told Itar-Tass.

“Meteorologists forecast rains and the rise of river water levels in certain areas. A state of emergency has been imposed in five regions,” Puchkov said.

Russian Emergency Situation Ministry works hard with federal authorities, Defence Ministry, emergency commissions of Russian regions and public authorities, the minister said. “We’ve formed a flexible system to monitor the situation and update involved parties on its development. This will allow us to effectively use all governmental systems locally, coordinate efforts and use rapid response teams in order to assist the population and minimize the effects of the flood,” he said.

“At present, the area of 6,000 square km is under control. In fact, we are conducting a rescue operation over the area of over 4,000 km by 1,500 km. All available resources, including infrastructure, transport, energy and communication have been employed. This is the most comprehensive operation we have conducted,” the minister said.

He believes that the situation is more difficult in the Amur region. “We concentrate all units there: Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry center for aeromobile rescue workers; the Leader Centre, which is responsible for rescue operations with extra risks; and rescue units of the Far East, Siberia and the Volga Region. The group will move to provide aid to people, to back municipal authorities’ activities and ensure safety of the population,” Puchkov said.

Population of the Far East has been warned about the possible aggravation of the flood situation due to torrential rains,Puchkov added.

At the same time, he recognized that the water can rise suddenly, regardless whether one is prepared. "Moreover, ordinary people cannot be in a state of permanent readiness”.

Local residents should take measures to protect themselves. “Municipal authorities recommended residents to have food stockpiles enough to last for three days as well as  essential items in case of  isruption of lines of communication as it happened before, in the Zeya district, Amur region when the water flow washed out roads. However, in that case they were restored within the 24 hours,” emergencies minister said.

Simple actions are required to prepare for such an emergency. People need to switch off gas, water and take valuable items. “It is necessary to protect family relics, which cannot be restored afterwards and take documents. Of course, people should have additional clothes, foodstuffs and medications,” Puchkov said.

The flood situation in the Far East is deteriorating due to torrential rains. Since August 7 a governmental commission has imposed a state of emergency in five regions - Yakutia, Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories, Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

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