Russia-annexed Crimea orders partial evacuation of Yalta following floods
MOSCOW, June 18 (Reuters) – Authorities in Russia-annexed Crimea on Friday ordered the evacuation of parts of the city of Yalta after heavy rains caused major flooding in the Black Sea Peninsula.
The region, which Russia annexed to Ukraine in 2014, declared a state of emergency and called for the military’s help to contain the damage caused by the floods.
In Yalta, a popular tourist destination on the southern coast of the peninsula, authorities ordered an evacuation as they worked to contain the rising waters. They said one person died after being swept away by the current, TASS news agency reported.
“We are first evacuating people from flooded areas in the city center and those near rivers,” Yanina Pavlenko, head of the city administration, said in a statement.
Images of the city of about 80,000 people showed cars almost completely submerged in murky water.
Pavlenko, who said Yalta hadn’t seen such heavy rain for nearly a century, urged people to get clean drinking water after the city cut off the water supply and blocked roads.
Electricity was also cut in Yalta and Kerch, a town in eastern Crimea, to prevent equipment damage in the floods, officials said.
Known for its jagged coastline and mild climate, Crimea was a favorite destination for 19th-century Russian nobility and state-funded vacations for Soviet workers.
Since its annexation by Moscow, Crimea has remained a popular destination for Russian tourists, with authorities investing heavily to connect the peninsula to southern Russia via a huge road and rail bridge. Ukraine says it wants to reclaim the peninsula.
Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Mike Collett-White
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