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Water Levels Almost 7 Feet Above Critical Level in Russia and Kazakhstan

Floods in the Russian city of Orenburg have reached almost 7 feet above what is considered to be critical, leaving only the roofs of houses showing.

Levels in the city peaked on April 9 when the Ural River reached 37 feet (11.41 m). Authorities say that over 10,000 have been evacuated from the area, and over 11,700 homes have been flooded. Kazakhstan has also been affected badly, as over 100,000 have evacuated from their homes. This flooding is said to be the worst in the region in 80 years. Orenburg has a population of about 500,000 and is around 930 miles (1500 km) southeast of Moscow.

The flooding is mainly due to high temperatures, which led to snow and ice rapidly melting, which was also joined by heavy rain. Because of this, not only the Ural but several other rivers are overflowing in Europe. Many of these rivers flow in Russia and Kazakhstan.

However, water levels have fallen in the city of Orsk, which is further upstream from Orenburg. Two weeks ago, Orsk was badly hit by a dam burst, resulting in protests against low compensation offers and perceived incompetence in local authorities’ ability after failing to fix the dam.

From Orenburg, the Ural River continues flowing southwest through northwest Kazakhstan and eventually into the Caspian Sea. The Ishim and Tobol Rivers are also reaching dangerous levels, but they will reach their peak at around April 23. In Petropavl, a city in northern Kazakhstan built near the Ishim River, a local reservoir was threatening to overflow, which would have flooded a major road between the two big Russian cities of Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk. The village of Kaminskoye has also been evacuated after levels in the Tobol River rose 4.5 feet (1.4 m).

Further downstream is the regional capital, Kurgan, where 300,000 people reside. This city is also at risk of flooding, though a dam near it is being reinforced to prevent leaks or breaks. States of emergency have been declared in the Kurgan region as well as the neighboring Tyumen region, located in western Siberia.

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About the Contributor
Mikael Ronaque, Head of Department (World News)/Editor in Chief
Hello. I am Mikael, Head of Department of World News. I am a 7th grader at the time of writing and I edit/publish articles on this website. I am an Indian. I aim to write about various things around the world with as little bias as possible.

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