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Thousands Evacuated In Flooded Eastern Kazakhstan

Kazakh students deliver aid to victims of flooding in on March 18.
OSKEMEN, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh officials continue to evacuate towns and villages in eastern Kazakhstan due to flooding caused by a massive thaw after a blizzard, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Officials reported four bridges were washed away and a total of more than 160 homes, 200 nonresidential buildings, and nine livestock farms have been completely destroyed by floods in the past week in East Kazakhstan Oblast.

Another 1,600 structures and 20 other livestock farms were damaged and an estimated 30,000 sheep, 4,000 cows, and more than 1,500 horses were reportedly killed by the flood waters.

Local authorities started evacuating the population in the Tarbaghatai and Ulan districts of East Kazakhstan Oblast last week. More than 7,000 local citizens have been evacuated so far.

The East Kazakhstan Oblast's Emergency Situations Ministry reported no casualties from the recent floods.

On March 13, at least 41 people died when flood waters burst two dams in southeastern Kazakhstan.