Death toll reaches 18 in Siberian floods; 13 missing

International News

In this photo provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry press service, flooded houses are seen after been affected by a flooding in Irkutsk region, Russia, Friday, June 29, 2019. According to the latest data of the regional emergency command center, the flood has affected 48 settlements of five municipal districts of the region. A source in the emergency services told TASS on Saturday that as a result of the flood in the region five people died and several were reported missing. (AP Photo/Ministry of Emergency Situations press service via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 18 people have died and more than a dozen are still missing in devastating floods that swept southeastern Siberia, Russian authorities said Tuesday.

The head of the Emergency Ministry’s regional branch, Valentin Nelyubov, gave the updated figures Tuesday. The ministry initially said that 17 people were missing, but later announced that four of them were found and rescued. The search for the remaining 13 is ongoing.

The floods that followed torrential rains affected 55 towns and villages in the Irkutsk region.

Over 4,000 houses have been flooded, according to the Emergency Ministry. Officials said that 1,258 people have sought medical assistance and 191 of them have been hospitalized.

President Vladimir Putin visited the area on Sunday on his way home from the Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Japan and ordered the military to join the rescue efforts.

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