More homes flooded in Russian region bordering Kazakhstan

More homes flooded in Russian region bordering Kazakhstan

Nearly 14,500 homes have been flooded in a Russian region bordering Kazakhstan after water levels spiked in a nearby river, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Thousands to evacuate their homes in the Orenburg region, located some 1,200 kilometres southeast of Moscow, when a dam on the Ural River burst last week under the pressure of surging waters.

Water levels in the river have since been fluctuating in different parts of the region.

Experts have cited multiple possible causes of the floods: large snow reserves in the area melting, deep freezing of the soil which doesn’t allow it to absorb rain or melting snow, and a massive release of water from the Iriklinksy reservoir in the eastern part of the region into the Ural River.

Local authorities have classified the deluge as an emergency of federal importance, and more than 16,500 people have been evacuated from the flooded areas, the office of the Orenburg governor said on Tuesday.

In Orenburg city, some 5,500 houses remain flooded even as water levels in the Ural River in the city gradually decrease, according to officials. The situation is more dire in the southwest of the region near the Kazakh border, where authorities say the river has risen to a dangerous level in the town of Ilek.

Further east along the border, floods also hit the regions of Kurgan and Tyumen after as water levels rose in local rivers. Russian emergency officials said Tuesday that over 300 homes have been flooded in the Kurgan region.

In neighbouring Kazakhstan, massive floods have prompted the evacuation of over 113,000 people to date, Kazakh emergency officials said. As of Tuesday, more than 5,700 houses remain flooded there, officials said.