Authorities in Russia’s Ural and southwestern Siberian regions have issued urgent evacuation orders as water levels in rivers continue to rise swiftly, leading to widespread flooding, power outages, and displacement of residents.

According to Russia’s emergency ministry, more than 300 houses and nearly 700 residential plots have been flooded in the Kurgan region, which straddles the Tobol River near the border with Kazakhstan.

The ministry issued a warning via the Telegram messaging app stating, “The water level in the Tobol River is rising swiftly.”

In the city of Kurgan, the administrative centre of the region, power has been cut off, affecting approximately 1,500 residents, as confirmed by local officials late on Monday.

Governor Vadim Shumkov of the Kurgan region expressed concerns about the severity of the situation, anticipating a potentially “very difficult” scenario with the Tobol River’s waters rising up to 36 feet, nearly double the bursting level at some locations.

Residents of Ishim, a town with a population of 65,000 in the Tyumen region of southwestern Siberia, bordering Kazakhstan, were urgently asked to evacuate on Tuesday due to a critical rise in the water level in the Ishim River that flows through the town.

Late on Monday, April 15, 2024, the region’s governor issued a warning about the potential for all-time high water levels in the region’s rivers in the coming days.

The southern Ural region, southwest Siberia, and northern Kazakhstan are facing the worst flooding in living memory, exacerbated by large snowfalls melting rapidly amid heavy rainfall over already waterlogged land from the winter season.

Arise News