Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Russia’s southern town of Krymsk, the most severely affected by floods that hit Krasnodar region on Saturday killing over 130 people overnight.
Putin who has just held an urgent meeting with the representatives of the all services involved in search operation and tackling the consequences of the disaster, left for Gelendzhik, the Black Sea resort city that was also suffered from floods.
Over 130 people are reported to be killed in Russia’s worst in decades floods that affected several cities and residential areas in Krasnodar region, including Gelendzhik, Novorossiysk as well as Krymsk, a town with the population of 57,000 people, located some 87 kilometers (54 miles) from Krasnodar.
Apart from the president, who has made a surveillance flight above the flooded territories, several ministers and the head of the Investigation Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, arrived to the affected areas.
Krymsk district where 123 people have been killed, was swept by the flood on Friday night when most of the people were asleep, RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the spot.
The abruptness and ferociousness of the flood triggered rumors that the disaster was caused by negligence of the local authorities who had allegedly opened the Neberdzhayevsk reservoir to prevent it from overfilling because of the heavy rains.
The claims were echoed by the statement from Russia’s Yabloko party, whose head Sergei Mitrokhin said on Saturday that it was the emergency sluice opening system at the reservoir that had caused the tragedy.
“The activists of Yabloko’s Krasnodar office have found out that the abrupt water rise in Krymsk last night was caused by the emergency opening of the Neberdzhayevsk reservoir…The residents have not been informed about it,” Mitrokhin said in a statement.
The Krasnodar region’s authorities dismissed the claims, calling them “an absolute nonsense.”
The governor of Krasnodar region, Alexander Tkachyov, has declared July 9 day of mourning for victims of the flood.
In 2002, over 60 people were killed in floods that hit Krasnodar region in January during the abnormally warm winter.