Thousands Evacuated Across Russia's Flood-Hit Far East
Aug 16, 2013
More than 14,000 local residents have been evacuated from 113 towns and villages in Russia's flood-ravaged Far East.
The country's Emergency Situations Ministry said on August 16 that more than 4,600 houses in Amur Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai, and the Jewish Autonomous Region had been damaged by the floods since last week.
The water level in the Amur River near the city of Khabarovsk has passed the 6 meter-mark and is still rising.
Local authorities are concerned about the Zeya and Burei hydropower stations, where the flood levels are reported to be at critical stages.
The Defense Ministry has sent additional troops, equipment, and military medical personnel to the region.
Local officials say the flood levels are expected to crest between August 18 and 23.
Why is the Amur River basis suddenly flooding? The river winds its way through the mountains of East Russia, and is a major river, combining the water flow from several other rivers as tributaries further inland. A glance at a topo map shows that the Amur winds its way through a mountainous region before reaching the sea. The Pacific plates are constantly compressing, subducting or overlapping one another, and pushing under Japan. What happens inland during this process? The Amur River was pinched, as it was attempting to dump into the sea, so that the river emptied more slowly, carried less of a flow, the river bottom rising so the river depth lessened. Stretch and compression zones BOTH experience these changes, which cause flooding.