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Kakhovka Dam: Five Dead in Ukraine Dam Floods While Survivors at Risk From Floating Landmines

Five people have died in the massive flooding triggered by an explosion at a dam in Kherson, Ukraine.

The victims were from Russian occupied Nova Kakhovka, the city’s Mayor Vladimir Leontyev reported.It comes as “major concerns” grow that landmines, each filled with 7kg of explosives, have been dislodged by the torrents of flood water.

“We knew where the hazards [the landmines] were, now we don’t know and this is a major concern,” said the Red Cross’ Erik Tollefsen, who is the head of the weapons contamination unit.

“It will not only impact the population but those coming in to help.

“These are big TM-57 anti-vehicle mines which have 7kg of explosions inside of them, you can imagine the damage the will do. They could detonate an ambulance.”

He added he awaits the news of what will happen next with “horror”.

Signs warning Ukrainians where the deadly bombs were have also been washed away, Mr Tollefsen said.The dam’s collapse and the deluge of water it released has caused a humanitarian and ecological disaster.

Hundreds of people were stranded on rooftops as the rising water wiped out their homes and villages, Mayor Yevhen Ryschuk said.

Thousands of homes have been wiped out in the floods.
Thousands of homes have been wiped out in the floods.Credit: AP

He added that 90% of Oleshky is flooded and is facing a humanitarian crisis without electricity and no safe drinking water or food.

At least 4,000 people have been evacuated from both the Russian and Ukrainian-controlled sides of the river, officials said.

The true scale of the disaster is unclear in the affected area, which was home to more than 60,000 people.

Russia-appointed authorities in the occupied parts of the Kherson region, have reported 15,000 flooded homes.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, visited the west side on Thursday, to evaluate the response to damage caused by the dam breach.

President Zelenskyy visited the area, speaking to those injured in hospitals and evaluating the response to damage.Credit: AP

He wrote on his Telegram account that he was helping assess efforts to evacuate civilians, provide them with drinking water and other support, and try to stanch vast environmental damage.

Earlier Mr Zelenskyy called the dam explosion “a crime of ecocide” and “a man-made strike on the environment, after which nature will have to recover for decades”.

He said it was impossible to predict how much of the chemicals and oil products stored in flooded areas will end up in rivers and the sea.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the cause of the attack on the dam is still being investigated and that the UK will continue to provide support for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s agriculture ministry warned: “The fields in the south of Ukraine next year can turn into deserts”.

In the Moscow-controlled city of Oleshky, Lera, 19, told of how the first floor of her home was flooded.

“Everything around us is floating. People are standing on rooftops and asking for help, but no one is evacuating them,” said Lera, who did not give her last name for fear of reprisals.

Aerial footage showed flooded streets in the Russia-controlled city of Nova Kakhovka on the eastern side of the Dnieper.

Initially Mayor Leontyev said seven people were missing, five have since been confirmed dead but two have been found alive and are being evacuated.

Hundreds of pets have been rescued.
Hundreds of pets have been rescued.Credit: AP

Hundreds of animals have been rescued. Officials said the Kazkova Dibrova Zoo in Nova Kakhovka was under water and that “only swans and ducks could escape”.

The cause of the dam’s collapse remains unclear with Russia and Ukraine blaming each other.

Some experts cited wartime damage and neglect, although others argued that Russia might have destroyed it for military reasons.

In his first public comments on the disaster, Russian President Vladimir Putin repeated Moscow’s line that Ukraine is to blame for destroying the Kakhovka dam.

Source : ITV