Kazakhstan Evacuates Nearly 98,000 People Since Onset of Flooding

ASTANA – Since the beginning of the floods, 97,852 people, including 32,856 children, have been rescued and evacuated, the Kazakh Ministry of Emergency Situations reported on April 11.

Elimination of the flood consequences, as well as flood control measures and emergency rescue operations continue. Photo credit: gov.kz

The involved aircraft rescued 2,823 people, including 865 children. Currently, 7,173 people are housed in temporary accommodation centers, 3,494 of whom are children. Additionally, 88,561 farm animals have been relocated to safe areas. A total of 170,635 kilograms of humanitarian aid was delivered to the affected regions.

Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov inspected the Zhaiyk (Ural) River bed during a flight, where a complex flood situation persists. The river’s water has already caused significant damage in Russia and is now moving towards Uralsk and Atyrau.

“Today the water level in the Zhaiyk River stands at 7.2 meters and will rise every day. The dangerous mark is 8.5 meters,” he warned, mentioning protective dams erected to contain the dangerous water level. “Now the main task is to protect Uralsk and Atyrau.”

The Ural River in Russia’s Orenburg district recorded a water level rise to 1,054 centimeters on Thursday, prompting evacuations following a dam breach. The Kazakh Ministry of Emergency Situations remains in close contact with Russian counterparts to monitor the situation.

Bektenov authorized forced evacuations if residents refused to leave their houses in the flood zone. He assured that all empty houses would be under 24-hour police surveillance.

Kaliyar Aitmukhambetov, deputy governor of the West Kazakhstan Region, announced the ongoing construction of a 1-2.5 meters high and 43-kilometer-long dam, involving over 250 units of equipment and about 2,500 workers.

Over 250 children from flood-affected areas of the region were safely transported by train to children’s health camps in the cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Taraz, Kostanai, Pavlodar, Konayev, Burabai, and Balkhash.

The transportation was organized at the request of the Ministry of Education and will continue until the first ten days of May. Over 500 children are planned to be transported in total.

Currently, 33 local emergencies remain active in eight regions. Akmola initiated evacuations in Atbasar due to an overflow in the Zhabai River, while 34,998 residents from the flooded city of Kulsary, the Atyrau Region, were relocated. In the East Kazakhstan Region, water levels have slightly dropped by 10-15 centimeters after heavy rainfall caused a sharp rise.

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