Humanitarian Crisis in War Zone as Floods Devastate Cherson Region
Uncontrolled floods in the Cherson region have caused a humanitarian crisis in the war zone. Ukrainian emergency responders have evacuated nearly 2,400 people, but many are refusing to leave.
Devastation in Mykolajiw
Mykolajiw, located about 75 kilometers north of Cherson, is now the hinterland of the flood due to the Dnipro river's uncontrollable water levels. Entire villages, fields, bridges, and roads are under water, and the Inhul river is preventing the South Bug river from flowing into the Black Sea.
People Refusing to Leave
Vlad and Sergej stand knee-deep in water. One of them carries a large package that he wants to mail. "I don't know how everyone else is managing. Not many people have stayed back there," they tell reporters while standing briefly on a partially flooded bridge.
Water Levels Remain High
As of the third day after the dam broke, the situation is still difficult and partly unclear. According to the military administration of the Cherson region, water levels are slowly receding, but the flooding persists, with water levels averaging 5.40 meters.
Water Supply Challenges
The supply of drinking water has been a long-standing problem for Mykolajiw, according to Deputy Mayor Vitaji Lukow. The city has been under heavy Russian bombardment for months, and missile damage is visible everywhere. After the liberation of Cherson, part of the city's water system was on occupied territory, making supply difficult.
Evacuations and Danger of Attack
Around 2400 people have been evacuated from the right bank of the Ukrainian-controlled area, but they and their helpers remain in danger of Russian attack. The city of Cherson, in particular, has been under fire with rockets, drones, and artillery 25 times in the last 24 hours, according to the regional military administration.
People Refusing to Leave and Facing Starvation
Few people in Mykolajiw have evacuated, despite the city making arrangements to house up to 1,000 people, according to Deputy Mayor Lukow. Most want to stay and wait it out. On the occupied left bank, people are stranded on rooftops and thousands have not had food or water for days.
Casualty Reports Differ
Information about the casualties is varied. The Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that four people died, 13 are missing, and 11 were injured due to the flooding.