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ORAL, Kazakhstan -- An abrupt rise in river levels in western Kazakhstan has caused massive floods in the region, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Dozens of houses and apartment blocks in several districts of the regional capital, Oral, were damaged by the high waters. Nearly 800 people from Oral and the towns of Bakaushino, Khamino, Almaqsha, Atameken, and Tasqala were evacuated.

Kazakhstan's Extraordinary Situations Ministry (TZM) announced today that scores of livestock were killed by the floods.

More than 250 TZM rescue workers and 90 specially equipped trucks and heavy machinery are working in the area to try to prevent the floods from spreading to other towns in the region.

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