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Scenes from the flood zone in Russia

Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 01:06

July 8 - Residents in Krymsk, Krasnodar, in Russia cope with the aftermath of a flood that killed at least 150 people. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Vladimir Putin launched an investigation into floods that killed 150 people and drove thousands from their homes in southern Russia, hoping to stem criticism of the authorities' handling of the disaster. Putin, who was criticised for reacting slowly to disasters when he first took power, quickly visited Krymsk - the worst-hit town - on Saturday and promised compensation for victims the day after water rose above head-height in some houses and turned streets into raging torrents. Many residents believed they were the victims of a sudden release of water from the nearby Neberdzhayevskoe reservoir, possibly a deliberate one to spare a more populous city such as Gelendzhik, a resort town right on the Black Sea coast. Investigators and local officials rejected this possibility. Putin declared Monday a day of mourning for the dead, most of whom drowned. Many were elderly people who had been sleeping when water swept through their homes after two months' average rainfall fell in a night.

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Scenes from the flood zone in Russia

Sunday, July 08, 2012 - 01:06