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Putin visits flood-hit southern Russia

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Putin visits flood-hit southern Russia


Russian President Vladimir Putin toured the flood-hit region of Krasnodar on Saturday, where more than 130 people have died.

He first visited the southern town of Krymsk, the area that has been most severely affected by the deadly flash flooding.

Putin ordered officials to start drawing up plans to rehouse those who have lost their homes. He said more than one hundred houses in the town had been completely destroyed.

Krasnodar’s governor has declared Monday as a day of mourning for the victims.

Putin completed a series of surveillance flights across the area, before heading for Gelendzhik, a Black Sea resort city also hit by floods.

The rapid rate at which water levels rose has led to some to accuse local authorities of negligence.
They reportedly opened a major reservoir to prevent it from overfilling because of the heavy rains.

Residents wonder why the local government did not declare a state of emergency and evacuate the area.

“Why didn’t anybody warn us? Everybody knew. They knew about the floods in Novorossiysk. What the hell is this mess?,” asked one woman in a temporary shelter in Krymsk.

Emergency teams have been sent from Moscow by plane and helicopter.

Dozens are said to be still missing, fuelling fears the death toll will rise further. The search for survivors continues.

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