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Russia May Send Soldiers To Help Flood-Stricken Siberian Region

An aerial image of a village on June 26 shows a flash flood caused by heavy rains in the Irkutsk region.

Russia may send soldiers to a southern Siberian region to help local emergency officials battle deadly floods.

Following a meeting with officials on June 29 in Bratsk, northwest of Lake Baikal, to discuss the emergency response, President Vladimir Putin told Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to be prepared to send in units if the situation doesn’t improve, TASS reported.

Heavy rains in the Irkutsk region starting on June 25 have flooded more than 4,000 homes with a population in excess of 10,000, the Emergency Situations Ministry has said. The ministry said that more flooding was likely in coming days.

Officials raised the death toll from the flooding to five people and said two were still missing. More than 600 people have requested medical help, TASS reported.

As of June 30, about 1,700 homes housing 4,200 people, including 800 children were still flooded.

The Russian government has agreed to give the Irkutsk region 662 million rubles ($10.5 million) to compensate victims for property loss and health issues.

With reporting by TASS