MOSCOW, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - Some half billion roubles have been raised in Russian in a charity marathon All Together that was organized by TV Channel One on Sunday to raise funds to help people who lost their homes and property in the recent devastating floods in the Russian Far Eastern regions. By 18:05 Moscow time on Sunday, the marathon account had 469,852,219.11 roubles.
Taking part in it were popular television hosts of TV Channel One, musicians, movie stars and show business people, there were live transmissions from the cities and towns that have been affected by the flood, as well as from several studios and sites in Moscow. A concert was held at Gorky Park within the framework of the charity marathon.
People willing to help could join this action by sending an SMS message to a short number displayed on TV screen. The funds raised during the marathon will be transferred to people who were affected by unprecedented floods in the Far Eastern regions.
Channel One promised to transfer proceeds from television advertising aired on September 29 to the flood victims. The money raised during the television marathon will go to build new houses.
In the mean time, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has thanked TV Channel One for the “All Together” aid-raising action, the ministry’s spokeswoman Irina Rossius said.
“Minister Vladimir Puchkov thanks Channel One and personally its head Konstantin Ernst, as well as the charity action participants, all those who responded to the disaster and helped,” she said. “This action will help people to quickly return to their normal life and it has proven once again that the Far East residents have not been left alone with their misfortune,” Rossius quoted the minister as saying.
Vyacheslav Shport, the governor of the Khabarovsk region that was badly affected by the floods, also thanked Channel One for this nationwide charity television marathon and promised to rebuild the village of Belgo, which was practically ruined by the floods. “The Channel One charity marathon has linked us with the rest of the world,” he said. “This action put heart into people who were affected by the devastating floods. Today, it is especially important for us to feel support of our compatriots and people of the entire world. We have conquered big water, the floods are subsiding but problems are not. We have a severe Far Eastern winter ahead. Cold weather will set in in a week. We cannot waste a single hour, so we have already begun to prepare construction sites to build quick-assembly houses in the flooded areas. We plan to build more than 1,000 such houses.”
Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of people affected by the recent floods in Russia’s Far Eastern regions have already been paid one-time financial aid, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and presidential representative in the Far Eastern federal dirtsict Yuri Trutnev said.
“More than 90 percent of people affected by the flood have already received primary material aid,” he told TV Channel One.
More than 32,000 people were evacuated from their homes, about 3,000 are still living in temporary accommodation centres. “We must provide them with warm and comfortable housing,” he said. “As many as 2,500 people have already been accommodated at hostels and holiday centres, which means that they will spend the winter in heated premises.”
About 400 more people, which are still staying at temporary accommodation centres, are to be provided with heated housing in the next two days. “The governors have been tasked to see to it that not a single person is staying at tent camps by October 1,” Trutnev said.
According to Trutnev, another big problem facing the flood-affected regions is to have the infrastructure prepared for the coming winter. “The water has not yet subsided. Electricity transmission lines have been damaged, heat supplies systems have been flooded. These defects must be repaired. People have been mobilized and they are working rather efficiently,” he added.