Hundreds Feel Flooding in Russia
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) _ Floods unleashed by a spate of warmer weather after heavy snows in southern Russia forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes, and soldiers used explosives Thursday to break up ice to release backed-up water in rivers.
About 820 buildings were under water in several villages along the Kuban River in the Krasnodar area, said Oleg Grekov, spokesman for the southern district office of the Emergency Situations Ministry. More than 1,500 residents were evacuated from their homes Wednesday night, and 256 of them were being lodged in local tourist facilities.
Three districts were cut off from electricity because of the floods.
Military helicopters were monitoring the situation, Grekov said, and soldiers used explosives to break an ice cap on an estuary along the river to increase its flow into the Sea of Azov and help lower water levels.
The floods were caused after water rose more than 8 feet _ 2 feet higher than the critical point.
Snow still is piled up to 5 feet in the region and is expected to melt as temperatures rise again in coming days _ raising the possibility of further flooding.
It was the first winter flooding in the area in 50 years, Grekov said.