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Floods Force Thousands To Evacuate In Western Kazakhstan


Flooding in western Kazakhstan on April 11

Flooding in western Kazakhstan on April 11

ASTANA -- Some 6,000 people have been evacuated from the city of Oral and several other towns and villages in western Kazakhstan hit by severe floods this week, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakhstan's Emergency Situations Ministry announced on April 15 that more than 1,600 buildings have been damaged by the high waters.

On April 14, a special government commission arrived in the region to try to deal with the aftermath of the flooding. The floods were caused by the rapid melting of snow and several weeks of heavy rain.

The Kazakh authorities have warned the local population of the danger of floods in the Aqtobe, Qostanai, North Kazakhstan, and Aqmola oblasts. The water levels in the Oral, Shaghan, Derkol, Esil, and Qalqutan rivers are also rising fast.

The floods also hit the neighboring Russian regions of Orenburg, Saratov, and Samara, where authorities declared a state of emergency.

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