Natural disaster in Krasnodar region claims eighteen lives

The natural calamity in the Krasnodar region /Southern Russia/ has claimed eighteen lives, another six people are missing, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry reported.

The service quoted Deputy Emergencies Minister Gennady Korotkin as saying that 16 corpses had been found near the village of Shyrokaya Balka located 16km away from the Novorossiisk city /a port on the Black Sea coast/.

The police found another two victims in the Abrau-Dyurso village where water broke through a dam washing away a tent camp set up on the coast.

Another six people are missing. According to local residents, this tourist group was staying on the coast, but their fate remains as yet unclear.

The state of emergency was declared the other day in and around Novorossiisk, which includes the villages of Abrau-Dyurso, Vasilyevka, Glebovka, Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka and Tsemdolina, following heavy showers, which resulted in a rapid increase in the water level in mountain rivers.

On Thursday, the situation was aggravated by a dam bursting on Lake Abrau in the nearby city. Ten campers who had arrived at the area in their cars were washed away into the sea. According to Novorossiisk rescuers, all of them have been saved, but two people are in a poor condition.

In the late hours of Thursday, the Kapitan Sokolov vessel set out for the Parafeyevka village, where more people were reportedly injured.

In the nearby Sukhaya Shchel village near Novorossiisk, a bus with 25 passengers was hit by a mudflow. Fortunately, no people sustained injuries.

According to the press service of the Krasnodar region, tens of houses in residential areas are flooded. More than 440 people have already been evacuated from Novorossiisk and its suburbs where the water level has risen up to 1.5 metres. Five children and one adult who were about to be washed away to the sea, have been rescued in the Eastern part of Novorossiisk.

The raging nature demolished a bulkhead at the Tonnelnaya station blocking the railroad. Five passenger trains bound from Krasnodar were trapped. The authorities evacuated passengers by buses. Vladimir Sazonov, the Russian Deputy Transport Minister, has set out for the scene.

The situation remains difficult because of disrupted energy supplies and the pessimistic weather forecast predicting more heavy showers within the next two days.

On Thursday evening, the Il-86 transport aircraft with 53 rescuers on-board arrived in Novorossiisk to render assistance to the calamity-ravaged region. The rescuers also delivered boats, medicines and other necessary equipment.

The team headed by Deputy Emergencies Minister Korotkin has been deployed to the region in compliance with the presidential order. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also heard a detail report about the situation in and around Novorossiisk by Deputy Emergencies Minister Yuri Vorobyov.

The President laid emphasis on rendering urgent help to children and those who were at railway stations and on trains.

According to Presidential Press Secretary Alexei Gromov, the President also ordered to brief him on all the situation developments.

In the evening, the President spoke on the phone with Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov. The President was primarily interested in what kind of help the region needed from the federal authorities.

The head of state proposed that the Governor should render urgent help primarily to children and those who were stuck at railway stations and on trains.