The Russian government has acknowledged that mistakes were made in how authorities responded to flash floods in the Black Sea region of Krasnodar that have left more than 170 people dead.
Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov was quoted as saying on July 9 that flood warnings issued by his ministry had failed to reach all residents who were affected by the floods.
The governor of Krasnodar territory has dismissed the mayor of the city of Krymsk and the head of the Krymsk region.
Governor Aleksandr Tkachev said the officials had been warned of the impending floods "at least three hours" before they began.
The flash flood struck in the early morning hours on July 7, catching most residents in their sleep.
Tkachev also criticized officials for being slow to respond to the incident and leaving many locals stranded on their roofs for hours.
Dimissed Krymsk region head Vasily Krutko said on July 8 that he had been warned late on July 7 and had done everything possible to warn residents.
The Krasnodar territory will host the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing a government meeting in Moscow on July 9, called for a probe into the flood-warning system.
"According to preliminary data, [the flood] was caused by natural phenomena," Putin said. "However, we should analyze thoroughly what [flood] warning services and hydroengineering facilities have and have not done, and what still needs to be done, not only at that site but also in other places where similar situations may occur."
Russia is observing a day of national mourning for the floods' victims.
Torrential rains and flooding July 7 inundated some 5,000 homes, mostly in Krymsk. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes. About 1,500 emergency workers are continuing recovery and rescue operations.
Tkachev is one of Russia's longest-serving regional governors and a close Putin ally. In March, then-President Dmitry Medvedev named him the presidential representative for relations with the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia.
An icon hangs on the wall with dirt from the floodwaters marking it, in the town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region.
Flooding hits the town of Gelendzhik, where two months of rain is reported to have fallen in 24 hours.
Locals inspect their flooded house in the southern Russian town of Krymsk on July 8.
A local resident looks at the debris of a house damaged by floods in the town of Krymsk.
An overturned car lies in the street in Krymsk.
Russian Emergency Situations Ministry staff carry out a rescue operation in Krymsk.
Flooding in the town of Gelendzhik
A city beach in Gelenedzhik has been washed away by the flooding.
An aerial view of flooded Gelendzhik
Pavement destroyed by flooding in the city of Krymsk
A car left by the flooding in Krymsk
Bodies of floods victims are transported from a local mortuary to a truck in the town of Krymsk on July 8.
A local resident passes by a damaged car stuck in a flooded street in Krymsk.
A flooded street in Krymsk
A local resident walks in mud from the floods in the town of Krymsk past a sign reading "Everyone has escaped (found salvation)."
Friends and relatives cry next to the body of a victim of flooding in the village of Moldavskoe, 5 kilometers from Krymsk, on July 8.
Russia -- The flood aftermath in Krasnodar Territory, 08Jul2012
Women mourn at the grave of a flood victim at Krymsk's cemetery on July 9.
Grieving for a flood victim at a funeral ceremony at Krymsk's central cemetery on July 9.
Based on reporting from AP, Reuters, dpa, and Interfax