Many flee as flood hits Southern Ukraine

Thousands are fleeing parts of Southern Ukraine after a major dam burst, triggering huge floods and sparking a humanitarian disaster.

Water continues to surge down the Dnipro river which divides Russian and Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Officials said 30 towns and villages along the river have been flooded and nearly 2,000 homes have been submerged in the main city of Kherson.

Both Ukraine and Russia blame each other for sabotaging the Kakhovka dam.

The BBC has been unable to verify claims from either side.

Early Tuesday morning, the dam in Russian-controlled Nova Kakhovka was breached, leading to mass evacuations as water levels downstream rapidly increased.

One woman, who arrived in Kherson on a rescue boat from the Russian-occupied east side of the river, explained how quickly the situation escalated after she heard about the disaster early on Tuesday.

“We managed to collect our things but the water kept rising. At that moment I was cooking buckwheat and my feet were already underwater. It started to flood really fast,” Kateryna Krupych, 40, told the BBC.

“It feels like we lived a whole life in just one day.”

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said the Ukrainians are developing a plan to help people on both sides of the Dnipro river.

“We are saving everyone on the right [Ukrainian-controlled] bank and developing a plan to help people on the [Russian-held] left bank.”Of the 30 flooded towns and villages, 20 are on Ukrainian soil and 10 in Russian-occupied territory, he said.

Klymenko also accused the Russians of leaving “people to fend for themselves”.

Rising water levels are expected to peak in Kherson late Wednesday, but officials fear a catastrophic impact on agriculture as the vast Kakhovka reservoir empties into the Black Sea. BBC

Back to top button