Mass evacuation ordered in Russian city as river levels rise

Authorities in the Russian city of Orenburg have ordered a mass evacuation after water levels in the Ural river rose further, threatening the area with more flooding.

Orenburg mayor Sergei Salmin called on residents to “urgently evacuate” as sirens rang out in the city near the border with Kazakhstan.

“This is not a drill,” Mr Salmin wrote. “The flood situation in Orenburg is extremely dangerous. Over the past 10 hours, the water level in the Ural (River) has risen by 40cm and is now at 11.43 (metres). These values are dangerous.”

Russia Floods
Two men ride a boat delivering food in a flooded area in Orenburg, Russia (AP)

The deluge hit the region, located 745 miles south east of the capital, Moscow, after a dam on the Ural River burst last week in the city of Orsk under the pressure of surging waters.

The authorities have designated the situation in the region as an emergency of federal importance.

Over 11,700 houses remained flooded in the region on Friday, a decrease from nearly 12,000 reported the day before, as water levels fell slightly in Orsk, state news agency Tass reported.

A woman carries her cat leaving a boat in a flooded area in Orenburg, Russia
A woman carries her cat while getting off a boat in a flooded part of Orenburg(AP)

The Ural River, runs about 1,509 miles from the southern section of the Ural Mountains, through Russia and Kazakhstan, before flowing into the north end of the Caspian Sea.

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