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Embankments of small rivers flooded in St. Petersburg

November 17, 2013, 17:39 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
The embankment of Smolenka River on Vasilyevsky Island, from the banks of which the sea facade of the city begins, is flooded
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© ITAR-TASS/Igor Akimov

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 velocity of south-western winds reaches 22 metres per second. The ministry stated that “already first negative aftermath of this calamity takes place.” The fire and rescue groups went on 20 missions after the calls about minor accidents by 16:00 local time (12:00 GMT). They had to remove the metal roof panels torn off by the winds 17 times and had to remove the fallen trees thrice. No one was injured from these accidents.

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.

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