The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam "threatens an environmental disaster" for the south of Ukraine, said the country's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Tuesday.
"The world must respond. Immediately. But not just with words, but with actions," Shmyhal said.
Earlier Tuesday morning, another top Ukrainian official called the destruction of the dam "ecocide" that will have consequences on people's access to drinking water and various ecosystems.
Evacuations: Shmyhal added that residents of the flooded areas are being evacuated, with operations "underway from the Ostriv microdistrict in Kherson city." Evacuation trains to the southern city Mykolaiv are also being arranged, he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has convened a National Security and Defense Council meeting, Shmyhal said, adding that another meeting on environmental safety and emergency response would be held next.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: Shmyhal also said authorities were "assessing the environmental impact and the threat" to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which lies upstream from the dam.
"Due to the lack of access to it, such an assessment is difficult," Shmyhal said, adding that Russia "must immediately withdraw from" the plant to "avoid further disaster."
Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom said the destruction of the dam may have negative consequences on the nuclear power plant but the situation is under control.