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Kazakhs Urged To Donate For Flood-Hit West

The floods were caused by melting snow and heavy rain
ASTANA -- Kazakhs are being urged to donate one day's wages to help victims of recent floods in the west of the country, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Officials in the Tarbaghatai District of East Kazakhstan Oblast announced on April 19 that local people raised 5 million tenges ($34,000) for flood victims in one day by donating one day's wages.

The officials made public a petition signed by local activists, retired people, and nongovernmental organizations calling all citizens of Kazakhstan to donate one day's wages to help the relief effort.

The Emergency Situations Ministry announced on April 19 that a special bank account has been opened for flood donations, and that over 10 million tenges ($68,000) has been collected to date.

Floods caused by melting snow and heavy rains started about two weeks ago in West Kazakhstan Oblast and have damaged thousands of private homes and commercial buildings. Local roads and highways are under water. The high waters also affected power supplies, telephone communications, and gas mains.

At least two people have died, and more than 9,000 people have been evacuated.

Read more in Russian here