07/09/2012, 00.00
RUSSIA

Russia, a day of mourning for the 171 flood victims

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin orders an investigation into negligence. According to local operators, the affected population (Krasnodar region) was not warned in time. The accidental opening of a dam may have worsened the situation.

Moscow (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The entire population of Russia is today in mourning for the victims of floods in the southern region of Krasnogar. With at least 171 confirmed dead, 24 thousand displaced and 5 thousand houses destroyed, the local governor Alexander Tkachev has called the flooding "an unprecedented tragedy." After having flown over the crash site by helicopter, President Vladimir Putin has ordered an inquiry into the tragedy, for which local authorities could be accused of negligence.

After days of torrential rains, flash floods hit the population during the night between July 6 and 7.

According to local activists, people were not advised of the true gravity of the situation. Furthermore, the opening of the gates of a local reservoir worsened the situation, channeling huge amounts of water to residential areas. However, officials continue to deny any wrongdoing.

The images broadcast by local television stations, show that water reached 28cm high, forcing many people to seek refuge in trees or on rooftops. Most of the victims were residents of Krymsk, a city of 57 thousand inhabitants. The area of Gelendzhik, near the Black Sea, and the port city of Novorossiysk were also seriously affected.

Krasnodar is the first great disaster of the new Putin era, in his third term as president.

 

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