Russian Officials May Be Charged with Negligence over Flood

Investigators have organized a probe into possible professional negligence of Tuapse officials, the district of Krasnodar region, during a flood that caused the death of four people, the regional investigative committee said on Thursday.

“A preliminary investigation over dereliction of duty by Tuapse officials has been initiated,” the committee said in a statement.

In particular the investigation will check whether officials did everything they could to clean river beds and find out how the public emergency warning was organized.

Due to heavy rains, the water level in the Nechepsukho River near the village of Novomikhailovskoye rose on Tuesday night. According to the Emergencies Ministry, six streets of the village were flooded, 800 homes, a hospital, a school and kindergarten were in the area of the flooding. Four people died, 61 needed medical care.

Earlier, Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov said that the warning system in Novomikhailovskoye “worked well.” According to the government, residents of the area were aware of the possible disaster two hours before the first signs of flooding.

Special attention to the warning of impending disaster in Kuban is given due to major flooding that occurred in Southern Russia. In the beginning of July, flooding caused by heavy rains flooded thousands of homes in the city of Gelendzhik, Krymsk, Novorossiysk and a number of villages in the region. Flash floods devastated more than 7,000 homes in and around the town of Krymsk, killing 168 and leaving thousands homeless and in need of emergency supplies.

Residents have accused officials of failing to issue a proper warning about the upcoming flood. The administration said it launched news tickers on local television and sent out mass text messages, but the power was out before the flood, shutting off TV sets, and the text messages mostly arrived too late and in truncated form.

Krymsk ex-mayor Vladimir Ulanovsky, head of Krymsk district Vasily Krutko and the acting chief of the district branch of the emergency service, Viktor Zhdanov, were detained on charges of professional negligence that resulted in multiple deaths last month. The charges carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.


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