Water levels rise and homes flood in Russia after a dam burst near the Kazakhstan border

Russian officials rushed to help homeowners displaced by floods as water levels rose in the Ural River, authorities said Wednesday.

Floods in the Orenburg region near Russia's border with Kazakhstan led to the evacuation of thousands of people after the floods. Dam collapse on saturday. The Russian government declared the situation a federal emergency. Although President Vladimir Putin has frequently appeared on Russian state television meeting with officials and traveling across the country, the Kremlin has said it does not yet plan to visit the flood-hit area.

The river water level in the city of Orenburg exceeded 10 meters (about 33 feet) on Wednesday, RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing the regional governor. Pictures published by Russian media showed flooded roads, flooded fields and partially submerged homes.

RIA Novosti news agency said the water was approaching high-rise buildings, and more than 300 homes were flooded overnight, according to the official TASS news agency.

Residents of the city of Orsk gathered in a rare protest on Monday to demand compensation after their homes were damaged. The protests are unusual in Russia, where the authorities constantly suppress any form of dissent after Putin's protests Invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the administrative building in Orsk on Monday, and videos posted on Russian social media showed people chanting “Putin, help us!” and “Shame!”

Other videos on social media showed angry Russians refusing to leave areas near their homes, saying thieves were looting abandoned homes with boats.

Interfax said the floods prompted the Orsk Oil Refinery to suspend its operations.

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The floods forced more than 4,000 people, including 885 children, to be displaced. To evacuate The regional government said on Sunday in the Orenburg region. About 10,000 homes, including about 7,000 in Orsk, were flooded, TASS said on Monday.

Following the protest, TASS reported that the governor of the Orenburg region, Denis Basler, promised to pay compensation to those affected, including 10,000 rubles ($108) per month for six months for people forced to leave their homes due to the floods.

The regional government said on Sunday that total flood damage in the region was estimated at 21 billion rubles ($227 million).

A criminal investigation has been opened to investigate suspected construction violations that may have caused the dam to collapse. Local authorities said the dam can withstand water levels of up to 5.5 meters (about 18 feet). On Sunday, the level in Orsk reached 9.7 meters (31.82 feet), according to Russian water level information site AllRivers.

The Ural River, about 2,428 kilometers (1,509 mi) long, flows from the southern part of the Ural Mountains to the northern end of the Caspian Sea, through Russia and Kazakhstan.

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