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20 Aug, 2013 15:29

Resident of Russia's flooded Far East won't evacuate to stay with her cats and books

Some 30,000 people have seen their properties submerged in the biggest flood Russia’s Far East has seen in more than a hundred years. RT's Paul Scott has been following emergency crews rescuing residents of the flooded Amur region villages.

Angelina Zonova, a resident of the Belogorye village has chosen not to leave her home, even though water is knee-deep inside. Emergency workers failed to persuade her to leave with them, even though they agreed to place all of Angelina’s 15 cats on the rescue boat. But the lady wanted her books to be rescued as well and that was not possible.

Well, there’s no point buying new ones, once it’s over. So, I’m here to the bitter end,” the woman said.  
People as defiant as Angelina are only making rescuers’ work harder. There's no respite, and there are fears the situation could deteriorate.

Local emergency crews are getting support, not just from other regions and volunteers, but also the military. The Defense Ministry says almost 5,000 personnel are in the region, as well as 730 military vehicles such as this - which helps them get to even the remotest regions.

We expect things to get a bit worse. Right now it depends on how much excess water they are going to dump from the Zeya hydropower station,” Aleksey Lagutin, rescuer.

The bulk of work for the emergency crews might yet to come after the water recedes – that will be the moment the scale of the damage will be seen. 

For more, watch RT Paul Scott’s report from Russia’s submerged Amur region.