Man almost drowns trying to save his car in swirling floods as Chita becomes Venice of Siberia

The Chita River swelled its banks as its level rose from a safe 2.45 metres to 4.05 metres.

Heavy rains engulf TransBaikal region with a dozen railway bridges destroyed and 15 more damaged.

By The Siberian Times

Thousands of people in Chita were evacuated after their homes were submerged in the worst flooding in modern memory. Some were forced to take refuge of roofs from the rising water. The scale of the crisis in the city and surrounding districts was highlighted by a video showing a man almost drowning as he desperately seeks to save his VAZ car from being washed away into rapids. Footage appeared to show him safely reaching the bank, after abandoning his attempt to save his vehicle.

Other videos showed serious flooding in built-up areas, with people forced to use boats to get around.

The scale of the crisis in the city and surrounding districts was highlighted by a video showing a man almost drowning as he desperately seeks to save his VAZ car.

The Chita River swelled its banks as its level rose from a safe 2.45 metres to 4.05 metres. ‘Water flooded 157 houses where 483 people live,’ according to rescuers. ‘630 countryside houses with a population of more than 1,400 people were also affected by the disaster.’ More than 1,000 were evacuated to temporary accommodation. Many areas of Chita remained without electricity and running water.

Flooded Chita

Flooded Chita

Flooded Chita

Many areas of Chita remained without electricity and running water. Pictures: Alexey Kuzubov

There were fears that the entire city could lose its power supply but the authorities disputed dire social media predictions. The governor of TransBaikal region Natalia Zhdanova flew over the flooded territory by helicopter today. ‘There are no reasons for panic, or hysteria, absolutely no reasons,’ she said. ‘The situation is under control. Everyone in charge of dealing with the situation is working.’

Despite this, residents complained that they were taken by surprise with a lack of warnings from the authorities.

‘There are no reasons for panic, or hysteria, absolutely no reasons.’

‘No one warned us about the flood, the water covered the garden and came into the house in ten minutes,’ said resident Anastasia Guddasarova on social media. ‘We rushed upstairs and climbed on the roof. We sat on the roof and water was everywhere. ‘We called the emergency services but they didn’t pick up. ‘At 4 am I wrote to ‘region 75’ (a volunteer group in social networks). They came over with a boat and evacuated us! Thank you very much.’

Attempt to rescue flooded cars

Attempt to rescue flooded cars

Flood in suburbs

Broken bridge

Trans-Siberian road under threat

Flood in suburbs

Evening in flooded district

‘No one warned us about the flood, the water covered the garden and came into the house in ten minutes.’ Pictures: Chita 75

Transbaikal region governor Natalya Zhdanova  decreed the opening of an operational HQ for emergency management due to floods caused by heavy rains. Local authorities in districts, where there is an increase of water levels in rivers, were ordered to prepare locations for emergency evacuation of people and removal of material assets from waterlogged areas, reported Interfax. The governor called for early warning to residents of any deterioration in the situation. She ordered a 24-hour monitoring of the developing situation.

Water has risen by  20 to 150 centimetres in the majority of rivers in TransBaikal due to heavy rains and intensive floods.

Local authorities in districts, where there is an increase of water levels in rivers, were ordered to prepare locations for emergency evacuation of people.’

Ref.: http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/man-almost-drowns-trying-to-save-his-car-in-swirling-floods-as-chita-becomes-venice-of-siberia/