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4 Jul, 2019 14:48

Pesky drones of ‘reporters & bloggers’ disrupt relief work after devastating Siberia flood (PHOTOS)

Pesky drones of ‘reporters & bloggers’ disrupt relief work after devastating Siberia flood (PHOTOS)

Emergency services dealing with the fallout of massive floods in the Siberian region of Irkutsk have urged reporters to lay off the use of drones to make way for rescue helicopters and avoid collisions.

The death toll of the massive flood plaguing Irkutsk since late June continues to grow, the local emergency services said on Thursday. So far, 21 people have been confirmed dead and 14 others are missing, according to official figures. Over 300 people have been hospitalized for various reasons due to the flooding.

Pesky drones of ‘reporters & bloggers’ disrupt relief work after devastating Siberia flood (PHOTOS)

While a state of emergency was declared in the region on June 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin upgraded it to a federal-level emergency on Wednesday. This designation means the local emergency services will receive additional support from the central authorities.


Apart from the disaster itself, the emergency services ran into another problem – the region was flooded with reporters who often deploy drones to capture the scale of destruction. In the town of Tulun alone – one of the heavily affected locations – the emergency services have already spotted 10 civilian UAVs.

“Helicopters are flying all the time, getting humanitarian aid to affected areas, getting various specialists out there, evacuating citizens from flooded territories,” the head of the Irkutsk emergency services, Vitaly Nelyubov, said in a statement. “Drones… pose a serious threat to aviation. Pilots… have repeatedly reported… various flying objects and had to fly around them.”


According to the emergency services, the drones are used by “reporters and bloggers” who have flocked to the flooded areas, as well as civil volunteers who came to provide assistance to the victims. Officials have called upon civilians to stop using drones in the flooded areas since the high number of them “paves the way to air incidents.”

Also on rt.com Twelve dead & thousands left homeless as severe flooding hits Siberia (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

The disaster has affected over 30,000 people, flooding around 100 settlements across the region, 16 of which still remain partially under water. The rising waters have destroyed scores of houses, displacing thousands of people.

The flooding has taken a heavy toll on local agriculture – 800 tons of crops have been lost, over 100 household animals have died, and around 400 have gone missing. Over 100 animals have been rescued by volunteers and emergency workers.

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