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ST. PETERSBURG, November 17, /ITAR-TASS/. Several embankments of small rivers were flooded as a result of water rise on Neva River in the city of St. Petersburg, the Russian northern capital. The embankment of Smolenka River on Vasilyevsky Island, from the banks of which the sea facade of the city begins, is flooded. The St. Petersburg division of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass, recalling that “the water level on Neva River at the gauging station at the Mining Institute went up above the zero water level by one metre and 18 cm, on the outer side of the closed dam the water level makes 150 cm as of 13:30 local time (11:30 GMT) on Sunday.”
The power utilities in the city of St. Petersburg operate on high alert. Additional work on duty is planned for the emergency workers if the electric power lines are damaged. Additional brigades, special machinery and emergency reserves are prepared.The Ministry of Emergency Situations urged the city residents to refrain from walks, particularly in the park zones, move cautiously near the fences, billboards and do not park the cars at these places.
“The situation in the city of St. Petersburg is under control, there is no threat to the city population yet,” head of the North-Western regional emergency situation centre Shamsutdin Dagirov said. On Saturday, the senior officials of the executive authorities and municipal entities were informed quickly about the emergency. The emergency centres were also set up in Novgorod Region and Karelia, because the weathermen forecast the spread of unfavourable weather on these territories.
Dagirov noted that after the peak of the water rise on Neva River at 4-5 p.m. Moscow time, weaker winds are expected, according to the forecasts of the Russian weather forecasting service. The flood protecting facilities are planned to open for navigation at about 21:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Sunday. Seven ships are staying off the outer side of the dam, the emergency services are keeping in constant contact with them. The St. Petersburg-Helsinki tourist ferry Princess Maria with 1,400 passengers onboard is among the ships stranded by the flood threat.