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Floods kill 103, injure 91 in Russia

Floods described as worst in decades

KRYMSK, Russia | July 7, 2012

Torrential rains that began Friday brought severe flooding to southern Russia, killing at least 103 people and injuring 91, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The ministry said most of those killed in what has been described as the worst flooding in Russia in decades died in the town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region, RIA Novosti reported.

The BBC said the floods came at night without warning, taking residents by surprise.

Among those killed in Krymsk was a 10-year-old boy, the British broadcaster reported.

Emergency teams have been sent from Moscow by airplane and helicopter, officials said.

Regional Gov. Alexander Tkachev, who flew over the area, described the situation in Krymsk as "something unimaginable."

He said the situation should "stabilize" Saturday.

The BBC said as many as 1,000 rescuers were searching for victims and evacuating survivors, and Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov was on his way to the region.

Puchkov said those whose houses were destroyed would receive compensation of about $3,000, and $1,500 would be paid to those whose houses were partially destroyed.

Irina Kizilbasheva, a journalist from the local TV channel, told news Web site Gazeta.ru the water poured into Krymsk overnight.

"People are distressed. They say that no one had warned them about the flood. We have found several streets where people's corpses were lying on the ground," Kizilbasheva said.

But a spokeswoman for the Krasnodar region's governor told the Ekho Moskvy radio station authorities had warned residents about a possible flood but residents did not want to leave their homes.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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