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Women's Prison Evacuated In Flood-Hit Kazakhstan


ASTANA -- Inmates from a women's prison in Kazakhstan's central Qaraghandy region have been evacuated due to severe floods.

Qaraghandy interior department officials told RFE/RL on April 16 that 943 inmates of penal colony 159/9 in the town of Koksun had been moved to other penitentiaries due to the floods.

On April 16, D Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Saghintaev visited the Ghabiden Mustafin, a village where some 700 buildings have been damaged by floods unleashed when swiftly rising temperatures hastened snowmelt.

Some 4,000 residents of the village have been evacuated in recent days.

Floods have also closed highways and forced evacuations in the Aqmola, East Kazakhstan, North Kazakhstan, and Pavlodar regions.

About 2,000 homes and other buildings in Kazakhstan have been damaged in the floods.

No casualties have been reported.

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    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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