The destroyed dam in Ukraine’s Dnipro River continues to collapse. The water flow is uncontrollable, a local official warned, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. Local residents in the Ukrainian part of the Kherson region are being evacuated and a state of emergency has been declared in the region.
The dam broke on the night from Monday to Tuesday after explosions were observed. Water flows from a cistern to the river Dnipro and towards the Black Sea. The dam is located about 60 kilometers east of the city of Kherson.
The governor of the southern Kherson region said Tuesday morning that the water could rise “to a critical level” within hours. There are concerns about flooding and water supply. Half of the dam has now collapsed and the danger of collapse has not yet passed, reports TASS.
The place Nova Kakhovka near the dam is flooded. At least six hundred houses have already been hit, emergency services report.
It is unclear who is responsible for the collapse of the dam. Both Ukraine and Russia claim that the opposing side blew up the dam. Both parties say they have seen explosions. Not only the dam would have blown up, but also the power station next to it.
Ukraine controls the area north of the Dnipro. Evacuations of local residents have been announced in that region. People in the danger zone must also disconnect all electrical equipment because of the rapidly rising water.
The area south of the river is in Russian hands. No major evacuations are taking place there, reports the Russian-appointed governor of the area.
Also fear for water supply Crimea and nuclear power plant
The dam has a large reservoir that supplies water to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The water supply may be compromised.
The nuclear power plant may therefore have to deal with lower water levels. The plant does not currently generate any energy, but it does need water to cool the nuclear reactors.
The Ukrainian state-owned company Energoatom, which owns the nuclear power plant, reported at 8 a.m. on Tuesday that the situation was under control. According to Energoatom, the nuclear power plant had enough cooling water at that time.
The dam is under Russian control. Moscow confirms that the dam breach does not currently pose a threat to the nuclear power plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it is monitoring the situation. According to the IAEA, there is “no immediate nuclear threat”.
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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