Flooding forces 20,000 Russians from their homes

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry says around 20,000 people have been forced to leave their homes since July in the wake of floods in Russia’s Far East.

Ministry spokeswoman Irina Rossius said Monday that the evacuation is underway in three Far East regions, some 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) east of Moscow. Some of the evacuees have moved into emergency shelters.

Authorities estimate that another 14,000 people were also affected.

Alexander Frolov, chief of the Russian Meteorological Service, told news agencies on Monday that floods have reached their peak in the Amur region. But the situation is expected to get worse in two other areas.

Authorities say that the floods have caused an estimated 2 billion rubles ($61 million) in damages.

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