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Flood-stricken Far Eastern regions sustain over RUB 1 bn in losses

August 10, 2013, 20:31 UTC+3

Dmitry Kozak said more than 800 million roubles would be disbursed from the federal budget to pay compensation to persons affected by the floods

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Photo ITAR-TASS / Sergey Fadeichev

Photo ITAR-TASS / Sergey Fadeichev

MOSCOW, August 10 (Itar-Tass) - Flood-stricken regions in the Russian Far East have assessed the damage sustained at over one billion roubles.

During a conference call with President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, August 10, Primorsky Territory Governor Vladimir Miklushevsky put the losses suffered by the region because of the floods at 700 million roubles but said that “the actual figure will be bigger.”

“We compare it with the infamous typhoon Judy that hit the region in 1989. Now nature wrought even more havoc than that typhoon,” the governor said, adding that a consolidated fund of 500 million roubles had been set up in the region to finance the post-crisis rehabilitation.

Khabarovsk Territory Governor Vyacheslav Shport preliminarily estimated the damage to his region at 370 million roubles. Specialists say that water may rise to a level of 620-690 cm by August 16, while the critical mark is 600 cm. The current level of water in Khabarovsk is 540 cm. “This will be a very dangerous phenomenon we have not seen since 1896. According to forecasts, water will rise by more than a metre,” he said.

Jewish Autonomous Region Vice Governor Gennady Antonov said no populated localities had been flooded but “if the situation keeps going worse, we will stand another metre or so [in water level rise] and after that everything will depend on the Bureya and Zeya hydropower plants,” the official said.

Bashkiria’s President Rustem Khamitov said the republic was coping with the consequences of the flood on its own. “People are returning to their homes, but most importantly there are no casualties and no social facilities have been damaged,” he said.

The republic will start working on a damage assessment report on August 11.

Putin had summoned federal ministers and regional leaders for a conference call to discuss the flood situation in some parts of the Russian Far East and work out response measures.

Members of the federal government, the ministers of the interior, emergency situations and natural resources, the heads of the Federal Hydrometeorological Service, the Federal Agency for Water Resources, and the RusHydro management board chairmen were present during the conference call held at the Kremlin’s situation centre.

The president said he would like to hear assessments of the situation and its possible development and pointed out that special attention should be paid to the safety of water works and water reservoirs.

All measures should be taken, “of course, in the interests of people, their safety and well-being,” he said.

“We know that the Emergencies Ministry and regional authorities are addressing the problems, and army units are joining in. Let us review the situation carefully and, most importantly, take a look at possible developments and what needs to be done shortly,” Putin said.

The president instructed the Finance Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry and the Ministry of Regional Development to jointly determine the amount of money needed to be disbursed from the federal budget for dealing with the aftermath of flooding in the Russian Far East.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said more than 800 million roubles would be disbursed from the federal budget to pay compensation to persons affected by the floods.

Deputy Minister for Regional Development Valery Gayevsky said 11,600 people had been affected and compensation to them would amount to 890 million roubles.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov said the government might use some of the funds reserved for 2014 to deal with the consequences of the floods this year.

“The government’s reserve fund of 10 billion roubles for this year has been used up, and we might have to use money from next year,” he said.

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