Wednesday, 14 August 2013

More flooding expected in northern China and far eastern Russia

The first reports came in around Wednesday the 7th of August. Massive flooding had hit northern China and far eastern Russia in areas surrounding the Heilongjiang River (known as the Amur river in Russia). Thirty settlements were evacuated as the Zeiskaya hydropower plant discharged huge amounts of water to prevent it from being overwhelmed. A state of emergency was declared in several Russian regions as rivers burst their banks and sixteen settlements were flooded. Thousands were evacuated as roads were washed away, necessitating boats and local army units to bring supplies in and people out.

In northern China it's been called the worst flooding in decades. Four people have already died there with thousands evacuated. More water is expected in the coming days, sweeping down the Heilongjiang river along the border with China and Russia and then flowing north into Russia's Khabarovsk region.

One of the biggest problems in Russia will be paying for the cleanup. A Deputy Finance Minister has already admitted that Russia's reserve fund equivalent to $300 million for 2013 has already been used up. They may, he admitted, have to raid the 2014 fund to pay for the cleanup. The damage in Russia is so far estimated at around $30 million.

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