Siberia Holds Its Breath Awaiting “Peak of Devastating Floods”

Russian authorities warned on Monday of the possibility of rising floodwaters in areas hit by floods in the country’s central region.

The authorities announced new evacuation operations and rushed to contain the damage caused by the floods.

Western Siberia, the Urals, and neighboring Kazakhstan have been hit by devastating floods, forcing thousands to flee their towns and villages.

The Kremlin said that water levels have receded in some areas, such as Orenburg, the hardest-hit, but the regions of Kurgan and Tyumen are now threatened with rising water levels.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the floods as “dangerous.” He added that the floods in Siberia will peak “midweek.”

Peskov told reporters, “All agencies are on high alert, and necessary measures are being taken.”

Authorities in Tyumen reported evacuating 8 towns due to the rise in the Tobol River’s water level and also warned that the Ishim River’s level is rising rapidly.

Tyumen governor Alexander Moor told Russian state television, “The situation is tense. The water level in the Ishim River is rising rapidly.”

He noted that the river is expected to reach a “historic level,” and authorities are considering forced evacuation operations.

Authorities reported that the Ishim River, which flows through Russia and Kazakhstan, has begun to flood in some places with the thick ice cover melting.

In a video clip aired on Sunday evening, Moor warned that the river “will flow heavily” with the melting ice, threatening the city of Ishim, which has a population of about 65,000.

Meanwhile, Russian Emergency Minister Alexander Kornukov visited Orsk in Orenburg, which was nearly completely submerged by the waters of the Ural River last week.

Kornukov will meet with evacuated individuals after protests erupted in the city over authorities’ crisis management and demands for compensation.

The ministry said Kornukov “will oversee the implementation of previously announced instructions.”

The ministry clarified that more than 2,500 people were evacuated in Orsk, with 3,725 residential buildings damaged.

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