Heavy floods have inundated several region in Russia's Far East due to the incessant rains this season, forcing the government to evacuate 200,000 people as water levels continue to rise in local reservoirs.
A month of heavy rains has lead to the biggest floods in over a century in the region. The head of Russia's hydrometeorology monitoring service told news agency Ria Novosti that these rains are unlikely to recede until the beginning of September.
A state of emergency has been declared in five of the several areas in the vast eastern region, state-funded news channel Russia Today (RT) reported.
As of now, over a thousand houses and 1,500 gardens have been washed away by these floods. About 170,000 people from the Amur, Khabarovsk and Jewish Autonomous regions have been evacuated by boats, according to Reuters.
"The damage is extensive, but the most significant achievement is there have been no casualties ... we cannot relax, there is still a lot of work to be done," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address.
Complicating the evacuation procedure, at least 29 bridges and about 300 km of roads are now blocked.
About 400,000 hectares of agricultural land in Russia has already been swamped by water, causing an estimated loss of more than 2 billion roubles ($60.7 million) to the economy, government envoy to the region Viktor Ishaev was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Authorities told the media that more than 20,000 officials and 1,200 pieces of machinery and equipment are engaged in evacuation operations.