Russia’s Far East braces for peak of floods, builds 9-meter-high damsAn aerial view of the flooded suburbs of Khabarovsk.(RIA Novosti / Sergey Mamontov)
The level of the Amur River in Russia’s flood-ravaged Far East hit 7.2 meters as it rose more in the past 24 hours. Over 50,000 people have been affected by the disaster called the most severe in 120 years - but meteorologists warn worse is yet to come.
In less than a week the level of the Amur River is predicted to reach 7.8 meters. In the worst case scenario, by September, 3 it might measure over 8 meters with the maximum predicted level now at 8.8 meters.
“Forecasters are expecting the floods to peak on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean that as soon as it reaches its peak it will start to fall. It will stay around for a while,” Denis Ilyinov from the emergency services in Khabarovsk said.
So far, the flooding caused by heavy rainfall has submerged over 1,100 houses in both the city of Khabarovsk and Khabarovsk region. It also inundated about a thousand plots of land and over 4,000 cottage communities. As the water reaches 720 cm, another 70 houses are predicted to be submerged.
Authorities said the floods have caused estimated damages of “not less than 10 billion” rubles.
Over 1,500 people have been evacuated from Khabarovsk Region. In total 23,000 people have been evacuated from three affected regions in the Far East due to flooding.
However, despite the rising water, some people still refuse to leave their homes, some with water already up to the roofs.
Soldiers have been deployed to help construct temporary flood defenses. The authorities ordered dams to be at least 9 meters in height.
The embankment in the city of Khabarovsk has been closed to people as there is a threat that soaked with water, it could collapse.