NewsOrenburg in crisis: Sirens blare as flood forces city-wide evacuation

Orenburg in crisis: Sirens blare as flood forces city-wide evacuation

They must flee immediately. The Ministry is sending alerts. The situation in Orenburg is critical.
They must flee immediately. The Ministry is sending alerts. The situation in Orenburg is critical.
Images source: © TG
4:36 PM EDT, April 12, 2024

The authorities in Orenburg have announced an immediate evacuation due to a sudden surge in the Ural River's water levels. "A siren is sounding throughout the city. Please note this is not an alarm. The evacuation has begun!" wrote Orenburg's Mayor, Sergey Salmin. He urged residents to leave without delay, warning of the risk that one of the nearby dams might break.

The feared worst-case scenario has materialized, with the Ural River's water level rising more significantly than predicted. Over the past 10 hours, it has surged by approximately 16 inches, breaching the critical level. The river's current standing is about 378 inches.

"This is a critical situation, don't delay!"

"To everyone in Orenburg, please pay attention! A siren is currently sounding across the city. This is not an air-raid siren. A widespread evacuation is currently in progress! The flood situation in Orenburg is grave. I implore all residents to evacuate promptly. Grab your identification, medications, essential belongings, and evacuate your homes at once. This is a critical situation, do not delay!" announced a message from Mayor Sergey Salmin.

According to the Orenburg region's administration, the Ural River level near Orenburg has set a new record, surpassing the previous high of 360 inches. As of the morning of April 11th, in the city, 5,000 plots and as many as 3,000 homes have been affected by flooding.

SMS Alerts for Residents

The Ministry for Emergency Situations has been sending out evacuation alerts to residents.

Alexey Kudinov, the First Deputy Mayor of Orenburg, stated that the peak of the flood in Orenburg is expected to occur on April 11th. The water level is anticipated to stabilize for two days before beginning to recede.

Following the floods on April 3rd, the Orenburg region declared a regional emergency. However, after a dam burst in Orsk on April 6th, a government commission upgraded the situation to a federal emergency.

The regional prosecutor's office has linked the dam's failure to inadequate maintenance, alleging that funds allocated for its repair had been systematically misappropriated. On April 6th, the Investigative Committee of the Orenburg Region initiated a criminal case for violation of safety regulations. The damage in the region is estimated to exceed 40 billion rubles, roughly $540 million.

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