The population in southern Ukraine was preparing this Wednesday for a second day of rising floodswhile the authorities warned that the collapse of a dam on the Dnieper River continued to release water accumulated in the huge reservoir.
The authorities estimated that the waters would keep rising after the dramatic collapse on Tuesday in the dam of Kakhovkaabout 70 kilometers (44 miles) east of the city of Khersonalthough the torrent was beginning to slow down.
Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up the dam and the attached hydroelectric power station, which has been in an area controlled by Moscow for more than a year. Russian authorities blamed the disaster on Ukrainian shelling in the disputed area, where the river separates the two sides.
People waddled in knee-deep water in their flooded homes, and videos posted on social media showed rescuers carrying people to safety. In an aerial video, water was seen filling the streets of Nova Kakhovkaa Russian-controlled town on the eastern bank of the river.
In the Ukrainian-controlled areas of the West Bank, Oleksandr Prokudinhead of the military administration in the Kherson region, said in a video that the water was expected to rise another meter (about 3 feet) in the next 20 hours.
“The intensity of the floods is slightly reduced; however, due to the significant destruction of the dam, water will continue to come“, said.
Britain’s Defense Ministry, which has published regular reports on the war, said the water level in the Kakhovka it was at “record highs” before the break. Although not the entire structure of the dam had been washed away, the Ministry warned that “it is likely that it will continue to deteriorate over the next few days, causing additional flooding.”
The dam and power station provide electricity, as well as irrigation and drinking water, to a wide swath of southern Ukraine, including the Crimean Peninsula, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.
The government and United Nations officials have warned of a human and ecological catastrophe. Assessing the impact will take several days, and recovery will take much longer.
The dam collapse, long feared by both sides, added a new dimension to Russia’s 16-month-old war. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces appeared to be advancing in sections in an expected counteroffensive along the more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) front in the east and south.
At least seven people are missing in the southern region of Kherson, after the destruction of the nearby dam, which has flooded several towns.
“We have information on at least seven people” missing, he told the agency TASS the mayor imposed by Russia in the town, Vladimir Leontiev.
He explained that the water levels are beginning to drop slightly in the city after registering up to 12 meters on Tuesday in some places.
According to the emergency response center, the level has dropped by 35 centimeters.
More than 900 people had to be evacuated on Tuesday from flooded areas in Russian-controlled territories. on the left bank of the Dnieper River, according to Leontiev.
On the right bank, controlled by Ukraine, they evacuated on Tuesday 1,328 citizensaccording to the head of the Kherson Regional State Administration, Oleksandr Prokudin
In the territories occupied by Russian troops, the town of Korsunka was completely submerged due to the uncontrolled discharge of water from the Kakhovka reservoir.
According to the president of the Government of the Kherson Administration imposed by Russia, Andrei Alekseenko, after also being completely flooded the day before Oleshki, now the situation is also critical in the town of Hola Prostan.
(With information from The Associated Press and EFE)
An attack broke the Kakhovka dam and flooded the Kherson region of Ukraine
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The explosion in the Kakhovska dam favors Russia and slows down the Ukrainian counteroffensive