Rescue workers evacuate an elderly woman from a flooded neighborhood in Kherson. © Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
Near the Ukrainian city of Nova Kakhovka, an explosion destroys a dam. The water continues to flood the area around the city of Kherson, and the work of aid workers is made more difficult by hostilities.
Kyiv - After the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in the Kherson war zone in southern Ukraine, masses of water continue to flow out of the reservoir. The water level in the lake had dropped by one meter within 24 hours and was 7.00 meters as of Thursday morning (13:05 a.m. CEST), said the state-owned hydropower plant operator Ukrhydroenergo in Kiev.
Meanwhile, the masonry is suffering more and more damage. At the moment, the water flows unhindered through the shattered dam.
Together with the state-owned energy supplier Ukrenerho, measures are now being explored to mitigate the negative consequences of the damage to the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, the group said. For example, the operation of other hydroelectric power plants and dams above the destroyed plant on the Dnipro River is to be changed in order to dam more water in front of the Kakhovka station and reduce pressure and flooding in the south of the country.
Work of helpers dangerous
In the regional capital Kherson, the flood level showed 5.61 meters on Thursday morning, according to Ukrainian military governor Oleksandr Prokudin. According to authorities, evacuations are underway from flooded apartments and houses. But many people didn't want to leave the area, Produkin said.
The regional capital is under Ukrainian control - unlike most of the region on the left bank, which is occupied by Russian troops. Because of the hostilities, the work of helpers is difficult and dangerous.
According to Ukrainian data, 600 square kilometers are currently under water, including 32 percent on territory controlled by Kiev, 68 percent on territory occupied by Moscow. The dam was destroyed on Tuesday night. Ukraine accuses Russian troops of mining and then blowing up the hydroelectric power plant. Russia, on the other hand, claims that the dam was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling.
Experts also consider it possible that the dam, which has long been controlled by Russia, was poorly maintained and destroyed under the pressure of the water masses. The possibility of an investigation into the background of the catastrophe is being discussed internationally. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and shortly thereafter occupied large parts of the Kherson region. Dpa