VLADIVOSTOK, August 20 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Defense Ministry has set up ten water purification stations in the Amur Region hit by the flood and constantly monitors the sanitary situation, the ministry's press service said on Tuesday.
Purification and filter systems to clear water from natural contaminations, to disinfect and desalinize are installed in the Khabarovsk Territory, the Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region. The stations are capable to filter up to ten cub/m of water an hour.
The water is supplied first of all to local residents and the troops dealing with the flood consequences and providing help in the affected areas.
Special groups of the Defense Ministry constantly monitor the sanitary situation. Every day, military specialists test more than 300 samples from water supply systems. For the present, they have not detected infection spread in the zone, the press service said.
The sanitary situation remains stable in the region. The rate of infection diseases does not exceed past years' level.
In addition to the water purification, the military services have organized boiling and chlorinating of drinking water and cleaning of wells to prevent infections.
The unprecedented flood has been continuing in the Far East since late July. It is caused by heavy rains. The most severely hit is the Amur Region, where 78 settlements, where almost 30,000 people live, remain inundated with more than 5,300 houses flooded. It is expected to come to its peak on August 23-24. The situation is also tense in the Jewish Autonomous Region and the Khabarovsk Territory, where the water approaches the dangerous levels or already is higher. The situation is expected to worsen in the cities of Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Nikolayevsk-on-Amur.
More than seven km of dikes built in Khabarovsk to protect the city from the flood must be promptly made higher, a source at the press centre of the regional government told Itar-Tass.
The dikes are expected to resist a water level of up to 750 cm, but according to the updated forecast, the water may go up to 780 cm. So, the decision is taken to make the dikes higher with reserve to 820 cm.
To be in time, all the mobilized services work day and night and use additional equipment.
Presently, the best dike-protected sites in Khabarovsk are the central embankment near Lenin stadium, the Yerofei ice sport centre and the Stroitel residential district. Other areas located close to the Amur may be hit rather seriously.
The most serious situation in the Khabarovsk Territory is expected to be in the village of Belgo of almost 500 people. With the latest forecast, the local authorities are preparing for full evacuation of the village.
Authorities in the Nanai district, where the situation is also tense, are ready to fully evacuate residents from the village of Slavyanka, where the local diesel electric station may be also flooded together with houses.
The head of the Far Eastern department for environment monitoring, Vyacheslav Paushin, told a press conference on Tuesday that the water in Khabarovsk went up 16 cm over the past 24 hours to 673 cm. The Amur is expected to reach the highest level on August 24-28. The water may rise to 730-780 cm, a meter higher that it was supposed earlier. Up to 50 villages, Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur may be flooded.
At present, 237 houses, 451 yards and more than 4,000 country house plots are flooded in the region.
The flood went up to roofs of houses in the Jewish Autonomous Region on Tuesday.
More than 560 houses are flooded, some to the roofs, in 24 settlements, the press service of the regional administration told Itar-Tass.
The Amur overflowed its banks in the entire region. The river went up 160 cm above the critical level near the settlement of Pashkovo, 178 cm near Nagibovo and 92 cm near Nikolskoye.
The Bira River near the city of Birobidzhan went down two cm on Monday, but the level is still 100 cm higher.
In all the flood-hit residential areas, the flows penetrate into houses, inundate gardens, wash out roads, damage bridges and destroy crops. People from the flooded houses are evacuated to temporary accommodation centre or to homes of friends and relatives.
According to the forecast, the Amur water will begin to go down only in mid-September.