Floods in Russia Worst in a Century

Flooding on a huge scale has caused chaos and devastation in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, which lies near to the border with China. The flooding has been caused by heavy rainfall in the area, which first began at the end of July and authorities are already describing the floods as the worst in 120 years. A state of emergency has been declared in several areas.

The worst-affected regions are Khabarovsk, Amur and the Jewish Autonomous region. Initially 17,000 people were evacuated. However authorities have become incresingly concerned about the safety of people in the flood threatened areas that as many as 170,000 people are now believed to be under threat and may be evacuated by relief and rescue teams, many of them by boat.

No casualties have been reported but widespread damage has been caused by the floods. 400,000 hectares of agricultural land has been flooded, around 300km of road blocked, as many as 30 bridges damaged or destroyed, and at least 1,500 houses washed away and a further 5,000 damaged.

There are around 20,000 relief and rescue workers in the region. Of most concern to the aithorities are the levels of the Amur River, which lies on Russia’s border with China, and a tributary river, the Zeya. The heavy rainfall is expected to continue for several days and flood waters may well only recede in September.

In 2012 Russia suffered from severe flooding in the south west of the country. Flash floods there killed 144 people in Russia’s Krasnodar region.

Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District lies in the Asian continent and covers 6,215,900 km2 – the largest Russian federal district. However, population density is lower than the 7 other federal districts, and the total population is just over 6 million, three quarters of which is urban.

[mappress mapid=”71″]

Sources: DW; International Business Times