Heavy rain and overflowing rivers and lakes have caused severe flooding in the Irkutsk Oblast region in the Siberian Federal District of Russia.
Russian news agency TASS reports that 18 people have died in the disaster, including 17 who drowned and 1 as a result of hypothermia. Eight people are still missing.
Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) said emergency teams have rescued and evacuated 2,200 people from the disaster area, with 630 of them currently staying in 13 temporary shelters. Almost 1,500 people have sought medical help, with 221 hospitalised.
Flooding first began around 25 June, 2019 after a period of heavy rain that caused rivers and lakes to overflow, including the Angara, Biryusa and Iya rivers and Lake Baikal. A state of emergency was declared in the flood-affected areas soon after.
Since then more than 80 settlements in several districts, including Zima, Nizhneudinsky, Tulunsky, Tayshetsky, Chunsky and Kuytunsky, have been affected. Over 6,600 homes have been flooded, affecting over 30,000 residents. Twelve bridges have been destroyed, dozens of roads damaged, as well as around 40 public buildings, including schools and medical centres.