MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. More than 400 people from the Russian North Caucasus town of Tyrnyauz were evacuated on Tuesday after a powerful landslide had partially blocked the course of the local Baksan River, regional officials and rescuers said.
On Monday, a powerful landslide swept away a bridge in the valley of the Gerkhozhan River, a tributary of the Baksan River. Early on August 15, the landslide started to move again. The weather forecast for Wednesday has been unfavorable, with occasional rains and hailstorms expected in the region.
"There is strong possibility that the course of the Baksan River may be fully blocked, and its waters will rush into the city. People have been informed. There is no panic," the press service of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic’s regional government quoted government chairman Aliy Musukov as saying.
"An evacuation of people from flooded regions into temporary shelters has begun. Residents are requested to stay calm, observe safety rules and strictly follow the instructions of the emergencies services," the regional government said in its address to residents.
The southern regional Emergencies Ministry center said more than 400 people will be evacuated.
"A decision was made to evacuate people from four residential buildings in the flooded zone. Temporary shelters have been set up for them, but the majority of those people chose to stay at their relatives. Buses have been prepared to transport them," an emergencies ministry spokesman said, adding that only two people have decided to stay at a temporary shelter.
"Recovery and emergencies services are working round the clock. Disaster response teams have been set up to urgently deal with the aftermath," the government of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic said in a statement.