Severe flash floods killed nearly 100 people and displaced about 13,000 in Russia’s southern region of Krasnodar on Saturday.
Most casualties were in Krymsk, where 76 people drowned when a seven-metre wave hit the town of 58,000 residents in the early hours of Saturday, washing away trucks and houses and ripping out traffic lights. Eleven more people died in Novorossiysk and Gelendzhik in the same region. Five people were electrocuted after an electricity transformer fell into the water.
The flood wave hit Krymsk during the night without any warning. The death toll kept rising throughout Saturday as more and more bodies were discovered in the submerged town. The Krasnodar Region is popular with campers and tourists for its proximity to the Black Sea and July is high vacation season.
Authorities blamed the catastrophe on heavy rain, which brought five months worth of precipitation on the region within 24 hours on Friday, but local residents said it looked like water had been released from a dam in the hills above Krymsk.