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Ukraine flooding death toll rises as volunteers scramble to help

Flooding in Ukraine
Flooding in Ukraine Copyright AP/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright AP/Copyright 2020 The AP. All rights reserved
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP
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Ukraine's death toll following floods caused by a destroyed dam has risen as volunteers from both warring sides try to help struggling citizens


As waters slowly begin to recede in flood-hit parts of southern Ukraine, Kiev has confirmed ten deaths and 41 people missing. 

The short and long-term challenges facing victims are becoming more apparent and the village of Afanasiyivka in Mykolaiv was turned into an island by the deluge and farmers like Yuriy Danylovych are struggling.

"I have all my grain here," he says. "The hay in the yard has floated away. Both mine and my neighbours’. 

"So there’s no food to feed the cattle. I have at least only lost a little hay, but people have lost 600-700 bales of hay. Who will pay them for this?"

The short-term dangers can be seen from outer space; with tens of thousands of parcels of land flooded and more to come but experts say the long-term consequences will be generational.

In the region, the average water level of the river is said to have fallen by two metres to around 3.60 metres.

Russia denies it caused the catastrophe by blowing up the dam at Kakhovka. 

Moscow has now released video of what it claims are Russian volunteers helping stranded households in the Kherson region.

Six dams were originally built along the Dnieper. When Russian forces seized the Kakhovka Dam, the whole system fell into neglect and, whether by accident or design, the Russian forces allowed water levels to fluctuate uncontrollably.

They dropped dangerously low in winter and then rose to historic peaks when snowmelt and spring rains pooled in the reservoir. 

Near Kherson city, Ukrainian aid workers are focusing their efforts on the few remaining residents who refuse to leave. 

They stayed during the Russia invasion and it appears they're not going to be driven out by the flood.

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