Hundreds of Ukrainians living in villages along the Dnipro River were given less than five hours to evacuate their homes Tuesday after officials say Russian forces blew up a large dam — unleashing a flood of rushing water in the war-torn region.
Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Kherson Regional Military Administration, said Russia’s army “committed yet another act of terror” after the Kakhovka dam in the Russian-controlled section of southern Ukraine collapsed.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry advised residents of 10 riverside villages downstream from the dam as well as parts of Kherson city to gather any essential documents, grab their pets and leave their homes.
The floodwaters were expected to reach “critical levels” within just five hours, Prokudin said in a video posted to Telegram shortly before 7 a.m.
Russian terrorists. The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land. Not a single meter should be left to them, because they use every meter for terror. It’s only… pic.twitter.com/ErBog1gRhH
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 6, 2023
The dam, built in 1956, holds about 4.8 billion gallons of water — equal in size to Utah’s Great Salt Lake — and provides cooling water to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant. Russian officials said there was not any immediate danger to the nuclear plant due to the dam explosion.
“The Kakhovka [dam] was blown up by the Russian occupying forces,” the South command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Facebook. “The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified.”
Aerial footage reposted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows a gushing surge of water overtaking the dam and quickly flowing into the river below.
“Russian terrorists,” he wrote on Twitter alongside the video. “The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land.”
Zelensky called an emergency meeting to plan a response to the life-threatening crisis following the dam explosion.
In October, he had suggested that Russia would destroy the dam to create a devastating flood in the area.
With Post wires
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