Russia’s Kurgan orders evacuation in some districts as floodwaters rise

By Thomson Reuters Apr 20, 2024 | 5:02 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Authorities in the region of Kurgan in Russia’s Urals mountains ordered an evacuation from several districts on Saturday due to rising river levels, after large snowfalls melted and heavy rain fell on ground already waterlogged before winter.

Russia’s Urals region and northern Kazakhstan often suffer flooding at this time of year but are seeing the worst in memory this year and authorities in Kurgan said the level of the Tobol river had already exceeded the highest level since 1994.

“Now is the time to collect things and documents and find a place for pets,” authorities said on the Telegram messaging app, while urging people to leave the dangerous areas.

Kurgan is home to a key part of Russia’s military-industrial complex – a giant factory that produces infantry fighting vehicles for the army, in high demand in Ukraine where Russian forces are on the offensive in some areas.

There were no reports that the factory, Kurganmashzavod, had so far been affected.

TASS news agency, citing emergency services, said the water level in the Tobol is expected to peak in the next two to three days.

In Orenburg, another region affected by floods, water levels have been receding, according to authorities there.

On Friday, the Orsk oil refinery, which had halted output due to the flooding, resumed fuel production. The refinery, located in the region, had previously declared force majeure on fuel supplies from April 8.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by David Holmes)