Aerial view of record flooding in Khabarovsk, Russia, on 1 September 2013. Photo: Alexander Kolbin / kolbasin.livejournal.com

3 September 2013 (The Siberian Times) – Water levels hit record high levels in both Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Tuesday. 'The water continues to rise in the Khabarovsk territory. The Komsomolsk-on-Amur area is at worst risk', presidential envoy to the Far East Federal District Yury Trutnev told a meeting with prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The water level hit the 805-centimetre mark in Khabarovsk by 9 am and 820 cm in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, he said.

“This will make the additional evacuation of 36,000 people necessary,” said Trutnev, as reported by Interfax.

Already tens of thousands across eastern Russia have been evacuated due to flooding which some experts blame on global warming.

The crisis had been expected in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, with the water forecast to rise by another 160cm from what is already the highest since records began. Such a rise will swamp residential areas with 600 apartment blocks and private houses - homes to 50,000 people - requiring evacuation along with major industrial facilities.

Acting governor of Khabarovsk region, Vyacheslav Shport, said 11,000 emergency workers are now deployed on the flooding crisis.

He told residents: “You have to be sure that we shall not stop to provide aid until all the problems of each person are solved. You should know and be sure - no one will be left alone with the elements! Help will reach every home, every family, every man, I promise you that!”

Officials have warned that the Amur may only reach its peak in flooding by 11 to 15 September, later than expected.

'This water level has never been reported in the history of Komsomolsk,' RusHydro official Vyacheslav Parshin told Itar-Tass.

Water levels near Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the second largest city in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory, rose by 19 cm 24 hours after weeks of heavy downpours. Elsewhere, in Siberia forest fires are raging because of marched conditions, with the worst flashpoint currently in the Republic of Buryatia.

36,000 more people face urgent evacuation in flood zone as crisis deepens in key cities

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