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Heavy Floods Cause Damage, Spark Anger In Northern Kazakhstan


According to Kazakh authorities, almost 2,000 buildings were destroyed floods in the north of the country.

Heavy floods have hit regions across northern Kazakhstan, destroying hundreds of buildings, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people, and leading to accusations of a botched state response.

Residents have linked about six deaths to the recent flooding, while authorities in the Central Asian nation say it has caused no casualties.

On April 20, officials in the North Kazakhstan region said the water level in a main reservoir was almost three meters above the allowed maximum, adding to the concerns of residents hit by the flooding that follows snowmelt.

​Interior Minister Qalmukhanbet Qasymov said on April 19 that almost 2,000 buildings were destroyed by the floods in the Aqmola, Pavlodar, Qostanai, North Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, Qaraghandy, and Aqtobe regions.

Thousands of local residents have been evacuated and tens of thousands of heads of livestock were moved to safer districts.

Some Kazakhs affected by the floods accuse officials of failing to prevent the damage.

Amid concern about high water levels close to Astana, lawmaker Vladimir Bozhko told RFE/RL on April 19 that the capital is "securely protected."

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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