Orsk residents stage protest over slow emergency response to Orenburg flooding

Photo: Beware, News

Photo: Beware, News

Around a hundred residents of Orsk in Russia’s Urals gathered on Monday to protest the slow pace of the emergency response to the extreme flooding across the region that was prompted by the collapse of a nearby dam on Friday.

Around a hundred people gathered in the city’s main square for an impromptu protest where they made a video of them chanting “Putin, help us”. Addressing protesters over megaphones, the police reminded them that the rally had not been sanctioned and instructed people to disperse immediately.

The Orenburg regional Prosecutor Office released a statement earlier warning the local public not to attend unauthorised rallies, and reminding them of the “inadmissibility of violating the law, particularly within the context of the state of emergency”, which was declared throughout the Orenburg region on Sunday.

In response, Orenburg Governor Denis Pasler met with representatives of the protesters to assure them that he had been working constantly since the first day of the flood, and had been unable to “sleep, wash, or change clothes”. Commenting on the rally, he said that “the easiest thing to do is to find someone to blame”.

Over 10,000 residential buildings in the Orenburg region are currently flooded. Pasler said on Monday that evacuation efforts were being intensified amid weather reports predicting more heavy rain is still to come in the region.

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