Ukraine evacuates thousands after key dam destroyed


Published: 2023-06-07 10:02

Last Updated: 2024-06-21 17:57

Ukraine evacuates thousands after key dam destroyed
Ukraine evacuates thousands after key dam destroyed

An attack on a major Russian-held dam in southern Ukraine Tuesday unleashed a torrent of water that flooded two dozen villages and forced the evacuation of 17,000 people, sparking fears of a humanitarian disaster.

Washington warned there would be "likely many deaths" as Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for ripping a gaping hole in the Kakhovka dam, which is located on the frontline and provides cooling water for Europe's largest nuclear plant.

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was scheduled late Tuesday following requests from Russia and Ukraine, diplomatic sources said.

The UN warned that hundreds of thousands could be affected on both sides of the frontline.

People in Kherson, the largest population center nearby, headed for higher ground as water poured into the Dnipro River.

Ukrainian authorities said 17,000 people were being evacuated and a total of 24 villages had been flooded.

"Over 40,000 people are in danger of being flooded," Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said.

Vladimir Leontyev, the Moscow-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka where the dam is located, said the city was underwater and hundreds of people had been evacuated.