Russian Federation Kazakhstan Floods: Houses in Orenburg Engulfed by High Water Levels

The recent floods in the Russian city of Orenburg have caused significant damage, with water levels rising to a dangerous two metres above critical levels.

As a result, some houses are now barely visible, with only their roofs peeking out above the water.

The city’s mayor advised numerous residents to evacuate their homes, as sirens blared.

Levels in Orenburg are expected to reach their highest point on Friday, with the possibility of floods spreading to nearby regions in the coming days and weeks.

Kazakhstan has also experienced significant impact, with a staggering 100,000 individuals forced to evacuate their residences in the past week.

The flooding has been described as the most severe in the region in 80 years.

Last week, a number of rivers, including the Ural, which is one of Europe’s largest, experienced flooding. There is a constant exchange of numbers between Russia and Kazakhstan.

The unusually warm weather has caused a rapid melting of snow and ice, which has been further intensified by heavy rainfall.

On Friday, the Ural river in Orenburg reached a height of 11.43m (37ft). According to authorities, a significant number of individuals, exceeding 10,000, have been safely relocated from the affected area. Additionally, a considerable number of homes, totaling 11,700, have been impacted by flooding.

Mayor Sergei Salmin has urged residents in certain districts to evacuate as a precautionary measure.

“Evacuate your residences immediately. The situation is urgent, time is of the essence!” he exclaimed on his Telegram channel, emphasising that the sirens heard in the city were not part of a drill.

The city has a population of around 500,000 and is located approximately 1,500km (930 miles) south-east of Moscow.

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According to a local resident named Anna Borodina, her family has been living in their current property for less than a year.

“Yesterday, there was a disruption in communication, accompanied by alarming sirens that prompted an evacuation.” Our home has been severely affected by a flooding incident, rendering it uninhabitable. “We’re in need of accommodations,” she stated.

According to Yulia Babenko, the owner of an animal shelter in Orenburg, there are numerous pet owners who are unsure about how to handle their pets.

“We have a significant number of animals here that were once owned, not just stray animals,” she informed Reuters.

There is a lack of organised facilities for pet owners to take their pets to. It seems like we have no choice but to take care of everything on our own. It feels like a scene straight out of Noah’s Ark.”

Water levels in Orsk have decreased, located to the east and upstream of Orenburg. Last weekend, Orsk experienced significant damage when a dam burst, leading to public protests due to dissatisfaction with compensation offers and perceived failures by local authorities to prevent the dam from collapsing.

River Ural at Orsk, Russia, overflows its banks

The Ural River passes through Orenburg, continuing its journey through northwest Kazakhstan before reaching the Caspian Sea.

The Ishim and Tobol rivers are also experiencing rising water levels, which are expected to reach their highest point around 23-24 April.

There is a concerning situation unfolding in northern Kazakhstan as floodwaters pose a threat to a large area. Numerous dams and reservoirs in the region are currently at full capacity.

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According to one resident, Serik Zholdygaly, his village has suffered immense destruction.

“The house, the barn, all the appliances and clothes, everything was submerged in water,” he shared with AP news agency.

“This is my older brother’s house, he got married last year and took a loan out to build it.” I did my best to assist him.”

There was a concerning situation in Petropavl on the Ishim river, in North Kazakhstan region. A local reservoir was on the verge of overflowing, which could have led to the flooding of a major road connecting two Russian cities – Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk.

Meanwhile, the village of Kaminskoye in Russia has been evacuated due to rising water levels in the Tobol River, according to regional governor Vadim Shumkov.

Kurgan, the regional capital and city of 300,000, is located downstream and is also believed to be in a vulnerable position.

According to Mr Shumkov, there are plans to strengthen a dam near the city.

Emergency measures have been implemented in the Kurgan region and in the nearby Tyumen area of western Siberia.

There has been an unprecedented occurrence of flooding in this region during the transition from winter to spring, unlike anything anyone can recall.

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