Russia – Deadly Flash Floods in Sochi

At least 2 people have died and more are missing following severe flash floods in Sochi and surrounding areas of the Krasnodar Region in Russia.

Flood damage in Sochi, Russia, June 2022. Photo: Government of Sochi

The government of Sochi reported 85 mm of rain fell in a short period on 24 June causing rivers to break their banks in Lazarevsky district. Sochi officials said 14 settlements in Lazarevsky district were affected and a total of 98 houses damaged, along with roads and infrastructure. Areas of the village of Zubova Shchel were hardest hit, where the overflowing Reka Chimit river destroyed a bridge and swept away 2 vehicles.

Teams from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) in Krasnodar Krai carried out search and rescue operations to find the occupants of the vehicles. As of 25 June, the bodies of two people had been found, while search operations continued for 4 people still feared missing.

Severe flood events struck in the region in July 2021, October 2018, and in June 2015.

In 2015, Russian and German scientists conducted a study which found increasing severity and number of flood events in Sochi were a result of warmer sea temperatures in the Black Sea region. The warmer sea surface temperatures can lead to an increase in precipitation intensity – in some cases of over 300% – for communities and regions neighbouring warm seas.