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Massive damage after worst floods in history hit Irkutsk region of Siberia, Russia

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A State of emergency has been declared in Irkutsk region of Siberia, Russia, after widespread floods hit the region on June 29, 2019. At least 5 people have been killed and 2 remain missing in floods described by officials as the worst Irkutsk has ever seen. Authorities warn the worst is yet to come.

According to official reports, the region's main waterway – Angara River, and Lake Baikal – world's deepest lake, had burst their banks after heavy rains hit the region.

More than 50 villages on the coast of Lake Baikal are still inaccessible while the city of Bratsk sustained heavy damage, Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zinichev told Interfax news agency.

At least 15 bridges have been destroyed and 4 000 blocks of flats and private homes so badly flooded that they need to be built again. Almost 10 000 people, including 2 269 children, have lost their homes and are currently unsheltered.

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Zinichev said extensive floods have killed five people, including a child, and left 2 people missing, as of June 29, 2019. Over 350 people have been injured and at least 100 are getting treatment in local hospitals. 

More heavy rain is expected in the region in the days ahead and the worst is not over yet.

Rescuers must now prepare to the worst-case scenario with worse to come, said deputy emergencies minister Alexander Chupriyan. "We have a group of 1 000 air and land rescuers. Currently, most of them are next and in the city of Bratsk."

"We will do everything in our power to minimize the amount of grief there," Chupriyan said.

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Featured image credit: The Siberian Times

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