Evacuations continue, the water level rises
Mass evacuations continue Wednesday in southern Ukraine after the partial destruction of the Kakhovka dam, which caused flooding in many localities along the Dnieper.
The peak of the floods is expected on Wednesday morning, and the situation should stabilize in four to five days, announced on Tuesday, Ihor Syrota, director of the public hydroelectric company Ukrhydroenergo, on Telegram.
“The most difficult situation is in the Korabelny district of the city of Kherson. So far the water level has risen by 3.5 meters, more than a thousand houses are flooded”, in this city taken over from the Russians by the Ukrainians in November 2022, said in a press release the deputy chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency, Oleksii Kuleba. Evacuations will continue on Wednesday and in the coming days by bus and train, he said.
“More than 40,000 people are at risk of being in flooded areas. Ukrainian authorities evacuate more than 17,000 people. Unfortunately, more than 25,000 civilians are in the territory under Russian control”Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin announced on Tuesday. “At this stage, twenty-four localities in Ukraine have been flooded”said Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.
The authorities installed by the Russians in the regions they occupy said they had begun the evacuation of the population of three localities, mobilizing around fifty buses. Vladimir Leontiev, the Moscow-appointed mayor of Nova Kakhovka, where the dam is located, said his town was under water and 900 of its residents had been evacuated.
In Geneva, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a UN humanitarian agency, warned that the destruction of the dam could cause an environmental disaster and “having a severe impact on hundreds of thousands of people on both sides of the front line”. In Washington, a spokesman for the White House estimated that this destruction had ” certainly [fait] many deaths” while specifying not to have “no definitive conclusion on what happened”.
Several tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural land in the Kherson region are at risk of flooding, the Ukrainian agriculture ministry wrote in a statement, saying it fears the total drying up of fields in southern country next year due to the destruction of the dam and a lack of drinking water for the population.