Flood victims give account of disaster in Karaganda Oblast01 april 2014, 03:41
Kokpekty villagers talked about their homes lost in the flood caused by a dam burst, Tengrinews reports.
"At 9 they could still have saved us. The water was just starting to flow over the bridge on dam at that time. At around 12 we were reassured that the water would subside. But then a real flood started all at once. It came with a wave of 1.8 meters tall. We barely survived. I’m an entrepreneur myself and all our goods were damaged. A week ago we were doing a revision. So we now that we lost goods worth $6500. All the appliances at home were damaged too," a local resident Elena Krukovskaya said.
Another Kokpekty villager Galina Gushina said that the Akim (Governor) arrived and asked everyone to leave the area because of a risk of a high flood. "I woke up my husband and we left together with our neighbors. The wave came in so quickly and it flooded the entire house in 5 minutes. All the furniture and appliances were destroyed. I do not know if the house will still be fit for living, because one of the walls collapsed. I am afraid to go in. We did not have any cattle so there were no more losses," the villager said.
Vasili Khomyakov was at his house when the wave hit. "I only managed to take the documents. Everyone is alive but the house is a mess. The wave lifted our car onto the fence. It was probably damaged along with the appliances and furniture. 11 chickens died but our dog managed to survive," he noted.
But there were some locals who did not leave their houses. Svetlana Evgeyuk was one of them. "We all were at home and waited for the water to go down. There were 5 of us including my one-year-old granddaughter. The cattle died except one pig. It survived somehow. The barn is destroyed. The house is all wet and everything is spoilt so it is impossible to live in there," Evgeyuk shared.
Colonel Murat Katpanov of the Emergency Situations Department commented on the situation in the Karaganda Oblast. "Unfortunately, 5 adults, some of them elderly people, died in the flood. There are 14 emergency teams from the Department of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and other services working to clean up the mess in the village. We are also providing public relief. All in all there are 295 people and 70 units of equipment and vehicles involved in the operation," Katparov explained.
The Department of Emergency Situations believes that the dam could not cope with the amount of water due to a sharp increase of the temperature. The hatches in the dam were open, but they were not enough to release the water. At one point the amount of water increased sharply when a large amount of snow plunged from a nearby mountain into the water.
Overall, 400 people were evacuated and 6 people were hospitalized with hypothermia. More than 300 of various cattle, almost 150 chicken and other poultry and 24 dogs died in the flood.
By Baurbek Konyrov