Flooding in Ukraine: three dead, hundreds evacuated

Inondations en Ukraine: trois morts, des centaines d’évacués

Three people have died and nearly 800 others have been evacuated to western Ukraine following heavy rains that have caused the worst flooding in 12 years in this country, a situation that is “critical”, announced on Wednesday that the authorities.

Nearly 6,000 houses were partially flooded in more than 200 communities in four regions, the most affected is the one of Ivano-Frankivsk region, bordering on Romania, and almost half of the land area is occupied by the mountainous massif of the Carpathian mountains, explained the State service for emergency situations said in a statement.

“The situation is critical”, said the prime minister Denys Chmyhal after visiting territories affected with the minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov and the head of the emergency situations.

In some areas, the rainfall since Monday has reached 70% of the level of those that are usually recorded in a month, has added to Mr. Avakov, quoted by his press service.

The elements which continue to have destroyed 110 km of roads and 90 bridges, cutting off access to thirty communities, according to the ministry of the Interior.

In the small town of Galytch, a hospital had to be evacuated, said Mr. Chmyhal. “The situation is complicated by the fact that there are patients suffering from the coronavirus there,” he said.

In Transcarpathia, the level of the Tisza, a river in the region, was suddenly mounted from four to five metres in places and a national highway was damaged, told the regional governor, as quoted by the news agency Interfax-Ukraine.

The authorities plan to start on Wednesday to deliver the helicopter the products of first necessity to the villages.

Frequent in the western regions, the floods this year are the most massive since at least 2008, which had been 39 deaths in the west of Ukraine.

The head of the State, Volodymyr Zelensky, has called on the government to “find a systemic solution” to this problem, in order not to “waste every year of the lives and money”. It has in particular suggested to “strengthen the banks” of rivers, according to a press release from the presidency.

Some experts put in because of cuts to the massive and often illegal timber in the Ukrainian Carpathians, which could they be at the origin of these phenomena.

The NGO Earthsight, headquartered in Britain, has accused the Swedish giant furniture IKEA to use in its production of the wood cut illegally in the Ukrainian Carpathians, in a report published on Tuesday.

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