Krymsk: Russia on Sunday was reeling from devastating flash floods in its southern Krasnodar region where at least 146 people were killed and 29,000 remained without power in the region's worst natural disaster in history.
Russian President Vladimir Putin personally inspected the worst-hit areas on Saturday evening, comparing the force of the water that trapped people in their homes at night and ripped up pavements and traffic lights and flooded rail tracks to a "tsunami."
He also quickly moved to quash panicky speculation that the deluge was caused by an opening of floodgates at a local water reservoir.
At least 146 people died in the floods including 12 from the port of Novorossiisk and the popular Black Sea resort town of Gelendzhik where five were electrocuted, spokesman for regional investigators Ivan Sengerov told.
The worst hit area was a district around Krymsk, a town of 57,000 where rescue teams have found 134 bodies including those of a one-year-old toddler and a 10-year-old child.
"Most of them were pensioners," Sengerov said, adding the death toll was likely to be revised as rescue teams continued work.
Krymsk is about 200 kilometres northwest of the Black Sea resort of Sochi where Russia will host the 2014 Summer Olympic Games.
"The Krasnodar region is experiencing the most difficult and the most devastating floods in its history," the regional administration said, adding that the region would observe a day of mourning on Monday.
Krymsk residents complained today that they have been left to their own devices and authorities offered no help.
"It's a catastrophe," said Viktor Voloshin, who arrived in the flood-ravaged town earlier on Sunday to help relatives whose house was damaged.


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