Residents of the Russian Black Sea town of Krymsk have begun the clear-up after Saturday’s surge of water which killed at least 170 people.
Witnesses have described a seven-metre wave crashing down on the town which flooded a row of houses where families lay sleeping.
Now as the survivors face up to the damage following torrential rain that began on Friday , there is almost no clean water and no power or gas.
But many locals believe they were victims of a sudden release of water from the nearby reservoir, possibly a deliberate one to spare a more populous area.
“We have heavy rains quite often, and it usually goes all right, the water in the river never rises. If such things happen, they only happen when they open the flood-gates. No matter if they say it’s not true – we all know it is. The whole town knows that they opened the local water reservoir,”
insisted Krymsk resident Yelena Topalova.
The authorities have rejected the possibility of a release from the reservoir. Instead an investigation into the disaster launched by President Vladimir Putin is focusing on the failure of emergency warning systems.