Major floods have been affecting central and northern areas of Russia since 12 April, 2016, mainly as a result of snow melt and ice jams.
Over 2,500 homes have been damaged and 10,000 people affected in the three regions of Vologda, Tyumen and Sverdlovskaya.
In Vologda Oblast, local authorities say flooding has been reported in 22 towns in the region, mostly in the Veliky Ustyug District, with more than 1900 houses flooded, affecting over 6,000 people.
Regional authorities have called for help from the federal government. Oleg A. Kuvshinnikov, Governor of Vologda Oblast, said in a statement earlier today, “We are counting on federal support for disaster management.”
The Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov announced that he is to visit the Vologda Region to personally oversee flood mitigation efforts and the provision of aid and temporary shelters to flood victims. More than 380 people and 120 units of equipment, including helicopters, UAVs and boats, are involved in flood mitigation operations.
Russia’s Emergency Control Ministry (EMERCOM) say that the adverse flood situation in Veliky Ustyug District is a result of the buildup of ice near the settlement of Krasavino. Over the last two days, the water level near Veliky Ustyug has twice reached critical level.
Teams from EMERCOM have managed to lower the water level by blasting two ice jams with explosives. Another ice jam, this time in Arkhangelsk Obalst, is also being cleared by EMERCOM. Last week teams worked to clear an ice jam on the Sukhona River in Nyuksenitsa District.
Last week, similar floods affected parts of Tyumen Oblast in the Ural Federal District. In a statement of 14 April, emergency management officials said that relief operations were underway in 53 communities. Over 740 homes have been flooded, affecting almost 3,000 people. The worst-hit area is the town of Ishim, where 518 houses have been flooded. Emergency Ministry rescuers worked with local governments to evacuate people from dangerous areas to temporary shelters on boats.
In Irbit, a small town located 203 kilometers from Yekaterinburg in Sverdlovskaya Oblast, EMERCOM teams were called in to carry out a very different rescue.
Eleven ostriches from a local farm had become trapped in flood waters on 14 April. The rescue operation of the flood-trapped birds was led by an ornithologist from Yekaterinburg. To evacuate them, rescuers had to use special equipment provided by the Emergency Ministry.
The rescuers had to get to the animals onto a special floating transporter, with cages on-board. All birds, emergency and farm personnel evacuated the floods safely.
Around 10 family homes were also flooded in Irbit.
B - Tyumen
C - Sverdlovskaya