Emergency declared around Olympic city Sochi because of floods

SOCHI, Russia Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:14pm IST

A couple shelter under an umbrella as it rains in Sochi, September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A couple shelter under an umbrella as it rains in Sochi, September 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Related Topics

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Regional authorities declared a state of emergency in Sochi and evacuated a village because of flooding and mudslides less than five months before the Russian city hosts the Winter Olympics.

Knee-high puddles in the city centre caused long traffic jams after heavy rain, a Reuters photographer said, and firefighters were pumping water from the streets.

An emergency services spokeswoman said a state of emergency had been declared but that water levels were receding on Wednesday in Sochi.

"Now the situation has started to stabilise," she said.

A highway leading to some of the Alpine event venues was flooded by up to 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) of water, which emergency workers said they were trying to drain, the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Residents were evacuated from Kepsha, a village near the highway, that was threatened by mudslides, it said.

Alexander Zhukov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, told state television he had no doubt Sochi would be ready for the Games, which open on February 7 and will be a crucial part of President Vladimir Putin's legacy.

Not only would Sochi be ready to welcome world athletes and guests but Russia's hosting will be "high level," Zhukov told Rossiya-24 television in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

Putin, who has staked his personal reputation and Russia's prestige on a successful Olympics, ordered officials last week to quickly overcome failures and delays in preparations, saying he expected nothing less than a "brilliant Games".

The cost of hosting the Games is expected to rise to $50 billion dollars, much more than expected initially and more than any other Olympics.

Work is still underway on venues and other infrastructure, where an International Olympic Committee delegation was making its final inspection of sites before the Games on Wednesday.

Much of the city and Olympic village resembles a muddy construction site. Poor weather has plagued preparations in the sprawling Black Sea city, which rises from the palm-lined subtropical shore to mountains of the Caucasus range.

Passengers had to wade through ankle-deep water at Sochi airport earlier this month during heavy rain, and a state of emergency was declared in March due to flooding.

The rainfall is due to continue this week, according to the emergency services, which said they were using drones to monitor the situation in the worst-affected areas.

(Reporting by Ludmila Danilova and Maxim Shemetov, Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

WORLD SHOWCASE

Algerie Crash

Algerie Crash

Bad weather seen as probable cause of Air Algerie crash  Full Article 

Russian Weapons

Russian Weapons

Russia transfer of rocket system to Ukraine rebels imminent - Pentagon  Full Article 

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling  Full Article 

Immigration Issue

Immigration Issue

Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland  Full Article 

Iraq Politics

Iraq Politics

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki - step aside  Full Article 

Flights Resume

Flights Resume

Lufthansa, Air Berlin to resume flights to Tel Aviv  Full Article 

Bus Restrictions

Bus Restrictions

China imposes airline-like restrictions on bus passengers in Xinjiang capital  Full Article 

Meat Scandal

Meat Scandal

In China meat scandal, McDonald's Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage