Russian floods death toll rises
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia -- Thousands of Russians remain in danger as a result of flooding, Russian officials say, putting the death toll at more than 50.
Muddy waters swept through towns in Chechnya and neighbouring areas of the North Caucasus last week, taking with them buildings and bridges and leaving thousands of residents homeless.
Russian Emergencies Ministry officials conceded that with no full figures available and many people still missing, the final death tally is likely to be higher.
According to the ministry officials, around 45,000 homes had been flooded with more than 1,200 completely destroyed. Thousands of people were treated for injuries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with top ministers in the Kremlin on Saturday to assess the situation as emergency services staged desperate rescue attempts.
In Chechnya, thousands of Russian servicemen went to restore communications disrupted by the floods.
The flooding is estimated to have caused at least $106 million worth of damage as many villages remain without electricity and gas and roads have been blocked.
In Dagestan, the flood damaged an oil refinery, leaking oil into the Sunzha river which further swept it further into the Capsian Sea.
Stavropol, which borders Chechnya, remains one of the hardest hit regions with the highest death toll.
The Republic of Ingushetia, where an entire cement-producing factory was washed away, has been severely affected by torrential waters with its mountainous regions remaining completely cut off from aid.
Luckily, Monday morning brought relief to some regions. In Dagestan's city of Kizlyar, waters receded by some 0.7 meters (27 inches), saving local residents from immediate danger.
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