Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has made a decision to establish a government commission for the development of the Far East. He will chair the commission personally, says the government-published daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
Last week President Vladimir Putin along with a large group of high-ranking government officials visited Russia’s flood-stricken Far East. During the inspection, Putin appointed Yuri Trutnev, a former presidential aide, as his new representative to the Far Eastern Federal District.
At a government meeting Trutnev said that the number of people who have suffered from the floods in the Far East has reached 100,000. As water levels of the Amur River may rise further, this figure is not final.
A resident of the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Alexei Korobkov, has told Novyie Izvestia daily that power outages have begun, as in many cases electric switchboards are located in the basements of private homes and apartment buildings.
“The quality of flood water has worsened sharply. Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has announced that the composition of water in the Amur River has been changing. According to its findings the number of microorganisms in water has doubled. Moreover, the content of aluminium and phenols in water around Komsomolsk-on-Amur has exceeded normal levels,” says the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets.
Medvedev said the authorities’ number one task in the region was to restore life to normal and pay compensations within the established amounts. “It is necessary to ensure that schools, hospitals, post offices, and shops should reopen and work as usual, although the situation remains uneasy and the level of water keeps rising. In any case, plans should be made for restoring roads, high voltage power lines and all infrastructure the flood has ruined.”
Deputy Prime Minister Trutnev said “there has emerged the need for evacuation of an extra 36,000 people.”
In connection with the ongoing floods the Cabinet of Ministers, acting in line with presidential instructions, has made a decision to create another government commission, which will ensure stable operation of water management infrastructures of Siberia and the Far East. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has been appointed to lead it. He is to fly to the region on September 10-11 to run the committee’s operation on site.