Hundreds of houses, plots flooded in Russia's Kurgan region

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Water levels in rivers in swathes of Russia’s Ural and southwestern Siberian regions continued to rise rapidly, officials said on Tuesday, flooding hundreds of houses, cutting off power and forcing urgent evacuations of residents.

More than 300 houses and nearly 700 residential plots have been flooded in Russia’s Kurgan region straddling the Tobol River near the border with Kazakhstan, Russia’s emergency ministry said on Tuesday.

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“The water level in the Tobol River is rising rapidly,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

In the city of Kurgan, the region’s administrative center, power was cut off, affecting about 1,500 residents, local officials said late on Monday.

Vadim Shumkov, governor of the Kurgan region, had said that he expected a “very difficult” situation, with the waters in the Tobol rising possibly up to 11 meters (36 ft), or nearly double the bursting level at some places.

Residents of Ishim, a town of 65,000 people in the Tyumen region in southwestern Siberia, bordering Kazakhstan, were asked early on Tuesday urgently evacuate because of a critical rise in the water level in the Ishim river that flows through the town.

Late on Monday, the region’s governor warned that the waters in the region’s rivers could reach all-time highs in the coming days.

Russia’s southern Ural region, southwest Siberia and northern Kazakhstan have been grappling with the worst flooding in living memory after large snow falls melted swiftly amid heavy rain over land already waterlogged before winter.

By late Monday, melt waters that swelled the tributaries of the world’s seventh longest river system, had forcing more than 125,000 people to flee their homes.

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