Russia: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation no MDRRU023

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

In South Siberia (Tyva Republic and Altai Krai Region) and in the southern part of European Russia (Volgograd Region), as a result of rapid snow thaw and runoff of meltwater into riverbeds, water levels rose significantly from late March 2018 onwards. As of 16 April, there were 11,550 worst-affected people in these regions in need of help from the Russian Red Cross Society (RRCS).

Altai Krai Region

The floods began in late March, and, on 25 March, a local disaster was officially declared. Within 10 days, the number of affected people grew to 1,500 (or approximately 600 families). In total, 199 settlements were affected by the flood. As of as of 13 April, a total of 19,452 people have been affected, out of which 4,863 are children. The spread of the disaster continues in present day, with about 7,000 people (or 3,200 families) being in need of help from the Red Cross.

Volgograd Region

Extensive flooding starting in late March has affected 81 settlements in 12 districts of the Volgograd Region: Kumylzhensky, Mikhailovsky, Kikvidzensky, Frolovsky, Rudnyansky, Elansky, Novoannensky, Kletsky, Olkhovsky, Alekseevsky, Ilovlinsky, Uryupinsky – with about 750 people initially affected. A disaster was declared on 4 April, with the flood-affected areas continuing to expand until about 13 April. According to early estimates, the water entering buildings damaged over 1,120 homes in residential areas.

Collecting information about the victims has been highly challenging due to roads being blocked by flood water. As of 16 April, the regional office of RRCS had information on approximately 10,000 people being affected, out of which 3,627 people (1,420 families) were in need of RRCS assistance. The most vulnerable categories of people selected for support include: low-income families, disabled people, older people living alone, and people ineligible for state aid (for example, because they are registered in neighbouring countries).

Tyva Republic

Flooding affecting several villages in Tyva began in late March, with a local disaster officially declared on 23 March. Rapid warming continued to increase rates of snow thaw, and extensive amounts of water came down from the mountains, as well as from swampy areas. The disaster continued to expand, prompting the declaration of an emergency situation in Kaa-Khem village (Kyzyl Region), where, in the beginning of April, a water dam was partially destroyed by flood water, and local attempts to cope with the situation remained unsuccessful. The water overflowing the dam inundated sewage treatment plants, mixing sewage with thawed water, and resulting in a severe epidemiological situation. EMERCOM carries out the cleaning of the area. Water came down the waterfall, quickly flooded, broke the dam, since these are private houses, all sewage treatment plants were on the street resulting in an extreme epidemiological situation. Water flooded more than ten streets with a length of 3.4 km each, affecting about 453 families.

The procedure for legalising a private home in Russia is quite complex and expensive, and, in many poor areas, remains incomplete. In some of these poor regions, houses are often registered as dachas (holiday homes), which require less complex procedures with local authorities. Sometimes, houses are not registered at all, which is a common practice in villages across Tyva, where a significant portion of the local population is traditionally nomadic – many of them having very limited information regarding the procedures put in place by local authorities. Residents in the areas are generally poor, and some people struggle to meet basic needs, and cannot afford to pay administrative costs.

The area is also faced with many infrastructural challenges. Tyva does not have a direct connection with the capital of the country, and the population density is around two people per square kilometre, spread over a territory that is larger than Greece. Therefore, targeting beneficiaries is fraught with extreme difficulties. According to the most up-to-date lists compiled by RRCS, 989 people (or approx. 500 families) are currently in need of support in Tyva.