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Russian emergencies minister arrives in flood-hit southern Russia

As of 22:00 Thursday, more than 1,000 homes have been inundated in the Stavropol Territory, over 3,600 people evacuated
Flooding in the Levokumka settlement Anton Podgayko/TASS
Flooding in the Levokumka settlement
© Anton Podgayko/TASS

LEVOKUMKA (Stavropol Territory), May 26. /TASS/. Russian emergencies minister Vladimir Puchkov arrived early on Friday in southern Russia’s Stavropol Territory, where hundreds of homes were inundated due to heavy rains.

"Shortly after his arrival to the (city of) Mineralnye Vody, the minister, accompanied by governor Vladimir Vladimirov, headed to the hardest-hit Levokumka settlement to assess the situation on site," a spokesperson for the Russian emergencies ministry said.

At a meeting with local government and rescue officials, the minister said that all those affected by the disaster will receive state assistance and compensations.

"On an instruction from the Russian president, I head the emergency task force to deal with the disaster. Its main task is to offer targeted aid to everyone in the disaster zone," Puchkov said. "As soon as water subsides, lists of those affected must be complied within the shortest time possible so that they could receive assistance from the federal and regional budget."

He said that the authorities have already started creating teams that would "assist every household in clearing the territory and removing the debris."

As of 22:00 Thursday, more than 1,000 homes have been inundated in the Stavropol Territory, over 3,600 people evacuated. The disaster affected 19 settlements, with the Levokumka, Pervomaisky and Slavyanovsky settlements being the hardest hit. The rescue effort involves over 2,500 personnel and almost 400 vehicles and other equipment.

The state of emergency has been declared in the area. Residents, who were forced to flee the zone of the disaster are being accommodated in local hotels and resort facilities.

The region’s governor said Thursday that flood waters are expected to begin to subside soon.

"I think that the water levels have stabilized and will begin to subside by Friday morning. However, based on our previous experience, the process may take up to three days," Vladimirov said in the run-up to the minister’s visit.

The weather forecast for the weekend is favorable, with no precipitation and temperatures of up to 19-24 degrees Celsius.

The regional office of Russia’s sanitary watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said sanitary and epidemiological situation in the area remains stable, with disease ratio being at average figures. Potable water resources are being regularly monitored by health experts.