Another city in Russia-occupied Crimea flooded: Yalta's de-facto mayor asks residents to store drinking water

Crimean Tatars
Canan Kevser
18 June 2021, 16:55
Canan Kevser
18 June 2021, 16:55

The Crimean City of Yalta announced a state of emergency on Friday, closing entry points after heavy rains caused floods in the Russia-occupied Ukrainian peninsula.

Announcing a city-wide Russia-imposed mayor of Yalta, Yanina Pavlenko, said the entrance to the city was completely closed because "the uncontrolled amounts of water simply sweep off vehicles and people."

"Rivers overflowed their banks. The city's central part is being flooded. Residents are being evacuated. Most importantly, the city's central area is fully closed now... There are mudslides in different parts near the city. Work to clean up the roads is under way," Pavlenko said in a statement.

She said people in flooded areas were being evacuated from their homes but asked those who were not in immediate danger to stay put. Later, the so-called mayor told journalists that she had appealed to the Russian Black Sea Fleet for support in evacuating residents.

Pavlenko also asked residents to stock up on drinking water as the city would be temporarily shutting off its water supply, though she did not provide details on timing.

On Thursday night alone, the peninsula was inundated with double the average monthly rainfall, according to estimates from Crimea's meteorological service. It predicted that the storm would subside by Monday.

Russian news agencies reported that the flooding had affected the quality of Yalta's water treatment. In a statement Friday, Crimea's largest state energy provider said the rainfall had left about 2,700 people without electricity.

The de facto head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that he would appeal to President Vladimir Putin for financial assistance to cover the damage from the storm as well as to compensate victims.

Aksyonov had caused his own storm on social media Thursday after a video showed him touring the flooded city of Kerch by boat with three men swimming in its wake that he said were employees of the local emergencies ministry.

Russia illegally and forcefully seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a takeover that was not recognized by most countries and the international community. Ukraine is preparing to hold the international Crimean Platform Summit in August, to unite efforts to de-occupy Crimea.