Aerial view of Sun Square at the Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island near the city of Khabarovsk, flooded by the Amur River, which peaked at a record 8 meters above normal in August 2013. Photo: Alexander Leonkin

By Vlad Grinkevich
2 September 2013

(Voice of Russia) – The Russian Far East is into a second month of an unusually rainy monsoon season. In its main city Khabarovsk, the Amur River is flowing at a record 8 meters above its normal level, more than a meter and a half higher than at the time of the city’s previous worst flood. Hydrologists say the flooding is yet to peak out.

The entire Amur Basin is affected, including, on the Russian side, the Regions of Amur and Khabarovsk and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Ms Maria Dubrovskaya speaks for the Far East branch of the Russian Emergencies Ministry:

“As of Monday, almost 5,000 houses in 127 towns and villages in 27 municipalities remained flooded. Rescue operations are under way, as is clean-up and repair work in areas where the water has started to recede. Local people will have everything they need to survive the coming winter.”

In Khabarovsk itself, as many as 645 houses, including apartment blocks, have already taken in floodwater. Many residents, however, have declined evacuation and are staying in their flats.

Mr Alexander Simontsev is a local journalist:

“Unfortunately, the city’s flood defences have proved to be inadequate. The water is closing in on central neighbourhoods. Of the three main thoroughfares, only two remain free of water. Both often become blocked by traffic jams”.

New earthen levees and barriers of sandbags are being hastily built.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has given federal agencies until September 20 to come up with plans to extend emergency financial help to the Far Eastern regions affected by floods. The federal anti-trust agency and the Agriculture Ministry have been instructed to take measures to rein in food prices in the Russian Far East.

Khabarovsk flooding about to peak out

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