Yalta is introducing a state of emergency due to the floods caused by torrential rains, town administration head Yanina Pavlenko said on June 18. “A rainfall total of more than 90 mm has been recorded over 11 hours. Evacuation of residents is underway,” she said.
The authorities even called for donating clothes and footwear to flood victims. In addition, the municipality set up three warming centres in its territory.
Overnight to June 17, heavy rains hit the eastern part of Crimea causing large-scale flooding in many settlements of the peninsula. For example, Kerch and nearby areas accounted for nearly two months of precipitation.
“Our streets were flooded, and the electricity was cut off,” said Kerch resident Olesya I. “I need the Internet to work, so I had to dash to a nearby store to recharge at least my smartphone. Luckily they have an electric power generator for such contingencies.”
According to Olesya, furniture, refrigerators and many other household items are floating in the streets. The worst thing is that snakes, washed out of their holes, are crawling around in the city. Buses are unable to run along their routes or to take passengers through distant villages because of deep water, she said. Residents are now transported by military vehicles. Many Kerch inhabitants have been temporarily relocated to boarding houses.
“A friend of mine is happy with the flooding because she can now wash her clothes next to the entrance of her house in the city center,” Olesya said ironically.
The regional department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) issued a storm warning in Crimea for June 17. There were 82 mm of rainfall in Kerch, 73 mm in the Kerch Strait area, 28 mm in Simferopol, and 88 mm in Belogorsk. In Yalta, located on the southern coast of Crimea, more than 135 mm of precipitation was recorded. Kerch introduced a state of emergency before it was declared in Yalta and on the entire peninsula. In Yalta, the Vodopadnaya River burst its banks and flooded roads, households and social infrastructure facilities. The rain suspended the operation of trolleybuses and buses. Fifty-four people were hurt in the disaster, one person got killed and a woman was reported missing.
A severe thunderstorm in the east and south of the peninsula de-activated over 100 electrical substations and 16 mobile phone base stations. About 20,000 residents of Crimea were left without drinking water as hydraulic units were flooded. Sergey Aksenov, Head of the Republic of Crimea, instructed specialists to check up each flood-hit household to assess the damage caused to peninsula residents.