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Death Toll in Russia Flood Climbs

July 5, 2002

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MOSCOW (AP) _ The death toll from severe flooding in southern Russia has climbed to 102, authorities said Friday.

President Vladimir Putin has sharply criticized local authorities for inadequate preparations for the floods, which have forced some 100,000 people from their homes. Many people lost their homes, their belongings and their crops.

Tatyana Andreyeva, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry, said 50 people were killed in the Stavropol region, 35 in the Krasnodar region, seven in Karachayevo-Cherkessia, four in North Ossetia, four in Checnya, one in Ingusheti, and and one in Kabardino-Balkaria.

Rugged mountain terrain and poor roads have hindered rescue operations. Although many people have returned to their homes, others are still living in tents.

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