NALCHIK, September 1. /TASS/. Rescuers evacuated by helicopters 114 people from the Elbrus District of Russia’s southwestern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria following a powerful mudslide, a spokesman for the local Emergencies Ministry’ department told TASS.
"Helicopters conducted seven flights and evacuated 114 tourists," the ministry said, noting that among them were foreign citizens.
According to the ministry, some 49 tourist groups or 300 people are staying in the area. Earlier reports said tourists trapped in the mountains of Kabardino-Balkaria would be evacuated to Tyrnyauz and taken to the airports of Nalchik or Mineralnye Vody.
A powerful mudflow descended early on Friday in the Elbrus region from the Adyl-Suu gorge. A gas pipeline in the area was affected by the mudflow, and several settlements were left without power. A state of emergency was declared.
According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, three cars fell into a river because of the mudflow, there were five people inside. Two people have been rescued, and a search is underway for three others. Among those missing is head of the Elbrus settlement Mussa Jappuev who was the first to arrive at the scene.
Media reports earlier said citing head of the Elbrus District Administration Kanshaubiy Zalikhanov that about 7,700 people could be near the Elbrus resort blocked because of washout of roads.