Eighteen people have been confirmed dead and eight more are still missing, following extensive flooding in the Irkutsk Oblast of southeastern Siberia this week, with around 200 people needing hospital treatment for a variety of injuries, and several thousand displaced from their homes by the rising waters. Around 30 000 people have been left without electricity, and extensive damage has been reported to homes, roads, and other infrastructure.
Flooding in the Irlutsk Oblast of Siberia this week. Irkutsk Segodnya.
Flooding in southern Siberia is common at this time of year, driven by the thawing of snow and ice further to the north, which causes waters in the rivers flowing through the region to rise sharply. This is despite typically low rainfall in the region; the month of July has the highest annual rainfall, but still typically receives only an average of 91 mm. This year has been exceptional however, with a cyclonic storm system sweeping over the region at the end of June, bringing heavy rainfall which has added to the flooding, resulting in the worst floods in the region for a century.
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