State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

In Amginsky district,  water completely covered residential areas. Picture: The Siberian Times

Thick ice and heavy spring floods combines to cause severe flooding in Yakutia.

By The Siberian Times

The use of 17 tons of explosives has so far failed to dislodge jammed thick ice which acts as a dam to gushing meltwater. A state of emergency has been declared in Yakutia with at least 11 townships flooded – and more threatened.
Some 17 settlements have been evacuated with 424 households hit and 500 people moved to dry facilities. ‘Our prime objective now is to reduce the impact of flooding to a minimum,’ said federal acting emergencies minister Vladimir Puchkov. He vowed to help residents whose homes were drenched.

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency in Russia’s coldest region. Pictures: The Siberian Times

Emergency units have been drafted in from other regions. The head of Khangalassky district, Gavril Alexeev, said: ‘The water is rising. The number of flooded houses is being checked but the first dam broke at 4.am and the second at 7.30 am. ‘Soon we will have four streets cut off.’

Puchkov said: ‘We’re wrapping up stage one in the south of the region where the floodwaters are subsiding. ‘We’re now moving the group to the north of Yakutia where the second and third phases of the spring floods are expected.’
Specialists numbering around 100 have been moved from Baikal Search and Rescue Unit (Irkutsk region) and the Siberian Rescue Centre (Novosibirsk region) have been moved the the stricken region. Among the flooded villages are Hotochchu, Oktemtsy, Pavlovsk, Rassoloda and in Tabaga near Yakutsk.

Exploding ice is also underway on the Aldan River near the village of Khara-Aldan with a two kilometre-long ice jam.

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

State of emergency as ice-choked Lena River spills its banks in remote settlements

Emergency units have been drafted in from other regions. Pictures: The Siberian Times

In Amginsky district, water completely covered residential areas, and emergency repair works began. The amount of damage in one area is put at 300 million roubles. Residents of the village of Eldikan and the village of Kuptsy in Ust-May district were left without electricity.

Schoolchildren of the last, 11th, grade were also evacuated from the flooded villages to pass the unified state examination. Graduates from the village of Kuptsy will take exams in the village of Ezhantsy. Graduates from Eldikan will go to Ust-Maya village. It is still not known how many pets and livestock died.

Senior emergencies’ official Alexey Kolodeznikov said 12 km of power cables had been destroyed. Students in their final school year were also evacuated from the flooded villages to pass the Russian unified state examination in ‘dry’ locations.

Ref.: http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/state-of-emergency-as-ice-choked-lena-river-spills-its-banks-in-remote-settlements/

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