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Azerbaijani Officials Meet With Flood Victims

Homes in flood-hit Sabirabad district last May

Homes in flood-hit Sabirabad district last May

Azerbaijani Emergency Ministry officials met today with protesters who continue to seek aid for last summer's flood damage to their homes, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The demonstrators, who are from Azerbaijan's central Sabirabad district, first staged a protest on February 24 against the government's mismanagement of the flood crisis and failure to repair or compensate its victims.

Local Emergency Ministry head Oruceli Haciyev announced today that in an effort to resolve problems from the flooding, residents will be given 150 manats ($188) each plus 100 manats per hectare of land. A commission to assess damage to households will visit the region soon.

The villagers were also promised uninterrupted electricity and the rebuilding of local roads damaged by the flood waters.

The commission from the Emergency Ministry also visited nearby Sarisu Lake, where the water level has risen two meters after heavy rains. Commission members promised to take measures to prevent any renewed flooding.

The police dispersed people last week in the central Saatli district who were also protesting the government's failure to provide assistance to families whose homes were destroyed in the flooding.

Some protesters resisted police and were temporarily detained.

Azerbaijan suffered a series of devastating floods last summer affecting thousands of people.