MOSCOW: Twelve people have died and nine are missing after heavy rainfall flooded dozens of villages in Russia’s southeastern Siberia, the deputy prime minister said Monday.
A state of emergency has been declared in Siberia’s Irkutsk region, where dozens of villages have been partially destroyed by floods after river levels began rising dramatically.
“Unfortunately, twelve people have died and nine are being searched for,” Vitaly Mutko said during a government meeting in the Moscow region.
Mutko said some 32,700 people in 83 villages were affected by the floods.
“751 were injured, 153 have been hospitalised,” he added.
Infrastructure has also been affected, he said, with around 13 roads and several bridges damaged.
Russia’s defence ministry said it had sent more than 1,300 servicemen, vehicles, a plane and two helicopters to the affected areas.
Earlier on Monday, the country’s emergency situations ministry said it had evacuated 2,273 people.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the region on Sunday, on his way back from the G20 summit in Japan.
He held a meeting with local authorities in Bratsk, a city 4,820 kilometres (3,000 miles) east of Moscow on the Angara River.
The Russian leader called on authorities to compensate those who suffered from the floods and to begin work repairing houses.
“Here the summer is short, winter comes quickly, there is very little time,” Putin said in a video published by the Kremlin. —AFP