Over 1,500 Evacuated in Southern Russia After Heavy Rains

MOSCOW (AP) -- Heavy rains have flooded broad areas in southern Russia, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,500 people, officials said Saturday.

Authorities in the Krasnodar region said more than 1,400 houses have been flooded following storms and heavy rains that swept the area this week. About 108,000 residents of 11 settlements were left without power, and a section of a federal highway was washed away by floods.

Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin that a total of 1,540 people have been evacuated, including nearly 1,000 children from several summer camps.

He said 2,500 emergency workers were involved in efforts to cope with the consequences of the floods.

The Black Sea resort city of Anapa and the city of Temryuk were the worst affected, receiving rainfall equivalent to the average for an entire year, the regional governor, Veniamin Kondratyev, told Putin.

Russian emergency officials have warned that heavy rains were expected to continue for another two days.

Across the Black Sea to the south, Turkey has been hit by heavy rains and flooding this week that killed at least 55 people and left an unknown number of others missing.

Climate scientists say there is little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events, such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms.