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Floods Kill 2 in Russia

August 8, 2002

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ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) _ Heavy rains caused flooding in low-lying and marshy regions along Russia’s Black Sea coast Thursday, killing at least two people and leaving more than 100 missing. Rail links and power were cut.

Seven villages in the area were flooded, forcing evacuation of at least 440 people, said Oleg Grekov, spokesman for the Southern Federal District’s Emergency Situations Ministry. At least 100 people were missing, but there were no details on their situation, Grekov said.

Two bodies of flood victims were found in the village of Abrau-Dyurso, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. At least eight people had been reported missing from that village after a lake overflowed, Grekov said.

Rising waters also submerged camps and resorts near the port of Novorossiisk, sweeping away people who were camping near the Black Sea, said Viktor Beltsov of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Moscow.

Beltsov said he did not know how many people were missing, but he said 10 people were picked out of the water alive, two of them in grave condition.

The city of Novorossiisk was without electricity, and more than 3,000 people were stranded in the city’s train station, RTR television reported. Torrential rains caused a 4,300 square-foot retaining wall to collapse on railroad tracks near a tunnel leading into Novorossiisk, blocking 10 trains from leaving the city, Grekov said. Five trains had earlier been blocked from entering the city, he said.

A bus with 25 people on board was pushed off the road by a mudslide, but all survived and rescuers were working to extricate the passengers, RTR reported.

Water rose high enough to submerge the ground floor of some houses in the city, trapping residents inside. Cars were also swept into the sea by rising lake waters in what local residents described as the worst rains many could remember.

The Emergency Ministry was sending a flight with rescue personnel from Moscow to the flood region Thursday evening.

Southern Russia has been hit hard by flooding this summer. Heavy rains in July left more than a hundred people dead and forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate their homes across several Russian regions.

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