Su-34 jets strike huge ice-jam in northwest Russia to prevent flooding (VIDEO)
Over 4,500 people living along the Sukhona River in the Vologda region are currently in danger, as thick ice has created a natural dam that is preventing the river from traveling downstream, causing it to overflow its banks.
Two Su-34 jets took off from the Voronezh region in southwestern Russian on Monday on a mission to drop precision-guided explosives onto the frozen parts of the river in order to allow natural water flow to resume.
The warplanes were ordered to deploy explosives “every hour,” said the head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Vladimir Puchkov.
“We just completed a flyby to once again look at the areas of the river being blocked by ice … We looked at the condition of the flooded territories. And using this information we will guide the latest operations taking place,” TASS quoted Puchkov as saying.
There are also two icebreakers nearby to break up the ice further.
In the meantime, the Emergencies Ministry is working on rescuing people in a number of danger zones.
Local authorities are also using boats to deliver food and other supplies to a number of towns and villages already affected by the flooding.
Other areas in Russia experiencing a similar problem this year included the Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Kurgan, Tomsk, and Kemerovo regions, according to data provided by the ministry.
Just a few months ago, Su-34 jets were being used by Russia in an anti-terror operation against Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) in Syria.
The Su-34 model is one of the most modern aircraft in Russia’s military arsenal. It began being developed in the mid-’80s as a replacement for the Su-24, with the first batch of new warplanes being delivered in 2006.