Intense floods caused by heavy rainfall and overflowing rivers have hit regions across northern and central Kazakhstan, destroying all around, reports Eurasianet.
Flood began on April 11. Rivers bursting their banks have barred roads in several northern regions of the country, including Astana. On April 19 interior Minister Qalmukhanbet Qasymov said that almost 2,000 buildings were destroyed by the floods in the Aqmola, Pavlodar, Qostanai, North Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, Qaraghandy, and Aqtobe regions. Rescue workers have evacuated around 5,000 people to safer locations.
People affected by the floods accuse officials of failing to prevent the damage. The Interior Ministry said that this year 10 billion tenge were allocated to local governments to help prevent and mitigate similar calamities.
The worst situation has been in Atbasar, in the northern Akmola region. Residents of Astana are feeling panic that they could be next to be inundated.
On April 19, amid concern about high water levels close to Astana, lawmaker Vladimir Bozhko told that the capital is “securely protected.”
On April 20, Atameken Business Channel reported on flooding in the village of Talapker, on the northwestern edge of Astana. More than 5,000 square cubic meters of water were pumped out of the village as overflow from the Yesil and Nura rivers poured in. Officials in the North Kazakhstan region said the water level in a main reservoir was almost three meters above the allowed maximum, adding to the concerns of residents hit by the flooding that follows snowmelt.
Back on March 18, the chairman of the water resources committee at the Agriculture Ministry, Islam Abishev, vowed that Astana was at no risk of flooding and that neither were nearby settlements. He conceded that Astana reservoirs was seeing the largest ever inflows of water, but that this was not a matter for concern.