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Putin Discusses Flood Aid In Far East


Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects a flooded area from a helicopter flying in the country's far eastern Amur region on August 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects a flooded area from a helicopter flying in the country's far eastern Amur region on August 29.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in the city of Vladivostok as he continued his trip to Russian Far East regions affected by unprecedented floods.

The agenda of Putin's three-day trip to Vladivostok includes meetings focusing on the development of the civilian shipbuilding industry in the region.

Putin will also hold meetings on the cleanup operations in the aftermath of heavy floods in the area.

Since August 28 Putin has visited the flood-hit regions of Amur, Khabarovsk, Yakutia, and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

In the capital of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Birobidzhan, Putin addressed a meeting of regional leaders on August 30.

"There are many questions related to aid [and] to compensation," he said. "This issue will be finalized in a presidential decree that is being prepared by the government and the presidential administration. And it will be signed soon."

Putin added that lessons learned while providing government assistance after the deadly flooding in southern Russia last year will be applied in the implementation of the decree. He said that a sum of 100,000 rubles ($3,000) would be paid out per person to those whose movable property had been lost in the floods.

Putin also called on local authorities to only build settlements in areas that were safe from flooding.

The president pointed out the importance of promptly restoring transport infrastructure and ordered the transport minister to send experts to evaluate flood damage.

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Thousands of residents have been evacuated from towns and villages in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, as well as in the regions of Amur, Khabarovsk, and Yakutia.

The coal- and gold-mining industries as well as farms in the region have been severely damaged by the floods, which are considered Russia's worst in 120 years.

The Far East's presidential envoy, Viktor Ishayev, said earlier that 100,000 people have been affected by the floods, which damaged 9,500 homes in several regions.

Meanwhile, the level of the Amur River near Khabarovsk reached a record high of 7.73 meters on August 30.

Khabarovsk's mayor said last week that the mass evacuation of residents from some city districts would start when the river level reaches 7.8 meters -- the level expected by September 4.

The Khabarovsk region's acting governor, Vyacheslav Shprot, said this week that the flooding might last for a month.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Rossia 24
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