Khabarovsk, Russia

Over 50,000 people have been affected by the floods currently inundating Russia’s far east. It has been labelled the worst flooding in 120 years. More than 6,200 houses have been flooded and almost 22,500 people evacuated in the Russian Far East.

The city of Khabarovsk sits at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers and is at the centre of the floods currently affecting Russia’s Far East. The flooding has damaged or destroyed as many as 1,100 houses in the city of Khabarovsk and the wider Khabarovsk region, and over 1,500 people have been evacuated so far. However, those figures could rise dramatically depending on water levels of the Amur River. An official for the regional government said on Sunday 25th August:

“On Sunday morning water levels of the Amur River near the city of Khabarovsk stood at 723 centimetres, gaining three centimetres in the past 24 hours,”

Although the levels are rising, the rate of the increase appears to be slowing. Earlier the levels rose by 14 to 17cm in 24 hours. However, forecasters believe that the levels will continue to rise, albeit at a slower rate. By the end of August it is expected that the levels will be over 780cm. Flooding is only expected to reach its peak early in September (around 2nd or 3rd September), when forecasters believe the Amur could reach around 830cm. Normally the Amur levels stand at around 340cm.

There is a fear that the river embankment in Khabarovsk is coming under increasing pressure and could collapse. The area is now closed off to the city’s residents. Russian military have been deployed to help build up temporary flood defences which some reports claim could be as high as 9 metres. Such efforts by military and emergency workers to shore up flood defences along the Amur, as well as pump out flood water, will hopefully reduce the need to evacuate the city’s population in such large numbers.

Acting governor Vyacheslav Shport said:

“Today we are proceeding with dike construction; we are pouring down sand along the central embankment of the city. We are working to save historical monuments. The dikes are being worked on around the clock. The temporary barriers that we are erecting now are supposed to prevent the water from entering the city”.

Khabarovsk is the administrative centre for Russia’s Far Eastern federal district. It has a population of just over half a million people and is located just 30km from the border with China.

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Sources: Ria Novosti; RT Network; Siberia Times