Freak Storms In Russia Leave At Least 99 Dead

At least 99 people were killed in Russia after two months’ average rainfall fell in a few hours overnight, causing massive floods and landslides, according to police and emergency officials.

Reuters reports that some victims were electrocuted, swept out to sea, or drowned while sleeping. Many of the dead were elderly people who were asleep and did not wake when the floods came.

Many survivors climbed onto their roofs to escape the floods after the torrential rain hit thousands of homes. Floods also affected railways, roads, and even halted oil shipments from Novorossiisk.

Yahoo News reports that people were seen on Saturday maneuvering boats through the streets and wading through waist-high water. The Krassnodar governor reported to Interfax that more than 5,000 residences were flooded. Alexander Tkachev stated, “Nobody remembers such a flood in all (of the area’s) history.”

The Interior Ministry reported the death toll as 103, and a regional ministry spokesman reported earlier Saturday that at least 67 were dead around Krimsk, which is about 750 miles south of Moscow. Five people were electrocuted after a transformer fell into the water in the Black Sea coastal city of Gelendzhik, reports Yahoo News.

One resident, Anna Kovalevskaya, whose parents live in the flooded area described the horror of seeing their home filled with water. She recalled:

“In the town, people are saying that a reservoir in the mountains above was opened. A wave came from there. There was seven meters (22 feet) of water in the town.”

Reuters notes that police spokesman Igor Zhelyabin stated:

“Police are beefing up their presence to prevent mass looting. The floods hit at night when people were asleep. You can’t do anything about that. Many people in Gelendzhik were hit by electric shocks and some of them were washed away into the sea.”