Update, 13 July 2023:
Further heavy rain caused flooding in the Tuapse district of Krasnodar Krai on 12 July 2023. EMERCOM reported at least 290 houses damaged and 4 people were missing.
Original report, 12 July 2023:
Sochi, located in the Krasnodar Krai region of southern Russia, experienced severe weather conditions on 09 July 2023, resulting in heavy rains and powerful flash flooding. More severe weather was expected.
The torrential downpour caused overflowing rivers, leading to the flooding of homes and the displacement of residents. Rescue and evacuation efforts were initiated to ensure the safety of affected individuals.
According to the government of Sochi, the passage of a thunderstorm and heavy rainfall on the evening of 09 July led to the flooding of approximately 200 homes. The rising waters posed a significant risk to the affected residents and their properties.
In response to the emergency situation, around 240 people were evacuated from the flooded areas of Sirius and Khostinsky in the Adlersky City District. The evacuees were provided with temporary accommodation.
The severe flooding also caused significant disruptions to transportation infrastructure, with approximately 13 streets and roads in Sochi submerged under water.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) swiftly deployed a team of more than 150 personnel to assist in rescue and evacuation operations. Specialized equipment, including five boats and pumping systems, were utilized to carry out these vital tasks. EMERCOM personnel worked to remove water from the flooded buildings.
Preliminary reports from EMERCOM indicated that a staggering 50 mm of rain fell within a one-hour period on 09 July, contributing to the severity of the flooding. Social media platforms showed videos of powerful flash floods surging through narrow roads, dragging and overturning vehicles in their path.
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.