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Floods In Russia's Far East Floods Prompt Mass Evacuations

Protective sandbags are piled up as a precaution against the Amur River bursting its banks in Khabarovsk on August 19.
Authorities say that unprecedented floods in Russia's Far East have reached the Magadan Oblast.

The floods, caused by heavy rains, have led to the evacuation of more than 23,000 people from the regions of Amur, Khabarovsk, Yakutia, and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in recent days.

Since the night of August 19, the region's Amur River, which serves as a natural border with China, has risen by 16 centimeters to 673 centimeters near Khabarovsk.

That is 31 centimeters higher than the highest water level recorded there in 1897.

It is expected to rise by at least another 40 centimeters over the next two days.

The military has been deployed to help quickly erect flood defenses along the river.

Authorities say they have prepared 10,000 sand bags to use in case the waters breach the flood barriers.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax