Floods kill six in southern Russia

A settlement affected by floodwaters in Krasnodar Region, Russia, on Oct 25, 2018.
A settlement affected by floodwaters in Krasnodar Region, Russia, on Oct 25, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Six people died in floods in southern Russia that also damaged regional infrastructure, including an oil pipeline, the authorities said on Friday (Sept 26), as emergency workers were struggling to provide food and water to the victims.

Flash floods affected parts of the Krasnodar region, including the area around the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, where Moscow hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014.

Russia's emergencies ministry said it had recovered the bodies of six people while clearing rubble and two people were hospitalised.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists that all the government services are "working in emergency mode" to battle the "ruthless elements".

The emergencies ministry said over 2,300 houses were flooded in the region.

Flash floods frequently cause devastating damage in the area wedged between the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountain range as mountain rivers swell and destroy settlements below.

Similar floods in 2012 killed over 150 people around Krymsk, another town in the region.

A regional subsidiary of Russian oil transport company Transneft said on Friday that the flash floods and resulting landslides "damaged a pipeline" in the region's Tuapse district, causing "a spill of five cubic metres of oil".

The company is working to keep the oil from getting into the Tuapse river, a major source of water for the town of Tuapse, home to over 60,000 people.

The floods also damaged a major railway line and roads, the authorities said.

Russian Railways, the country's rail monopoly, said on Thursday that 31 passenger trains were stopped due to the damage, and passengers were being bussed to the nearest stations to continue their journeys.