Reconstruction of Flood-Ravaged Krymsk Totals $660 Mln

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – A total of 20 billion rubles (around $660 million) will be spent on relief and reconstruction efforts in a flood-ravaged city in southern Russia, the Regional Development Ministry said on Tuesday.

The city of Krymsk suffered devastating floods last July that killed more than 170 people and caused massive damage and destruction.

So far, 15 billion rubles (some $481 million) has been spent from the federal and territorial budgets to contain the damage and provide relief and compensation payments to local residents. Another 5 billion rubles ($160 million) will be spent on anti-flood protection, the ministry said.

Officials came under fire from local residents and the opposition over their inefficient response to the disaster. Some residents complained that the state has been slow to provide compensation and new housing.

An end-of-year poll by the independent Levada Center pollster found that 30 percent of Russians believe the Krymsk flooding was the most important event of 2012, surpassing Putin’s re-election to the presidency (29 percent) and the scandal over punk group Pussy Riot (13 percent).

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