MOSCOW – Intense flooding in the Black Sea region of southern Russia killed 103 people after torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water, forcing many to scramble out of their beds for refuge in trees and on roofs, officials said Saturday.
Many people were asleep when the flooding hit overnight in the Krasnodar region, and the water rushed into the area around the hard-hit town of Krimsk with such speed and volume that rumors emerged that local officials had opened a nearby water reservoir. Muddy water coursed through streets and homes, in some cases high enough to flow over the hoods of cars and even as high as rooftops, according to witnesses.
People waded through waist-high water or maneuvered the streets in boats on Saturday. About 5,000 residences were flooded, the Krasnodar governor was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency.
“Nobody remembers such a flood in all (of the area’s) history,” Alexander Tkachev said.
The Interior Ministry gave the death toll as 103 on Saturday evening, according to Russian news agencies. Five people were electrocuted in the Black Sea coastal city of Gelendzhik after a transformer fell into the water, state news agency RIA Novosti said.