Putin, in flood zone, demands checks on warnings

July 8, 2012 04:15

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin, who flew to the Black Sea coast on Saturday where more than 140 people were killed in a flash flood, ordered investigators to find out whether local authorities had given residents enough warning to get to safety.

Floods and landslides hit the Krasnodar region, a relatively rich area with thriving agriculture and tourism industries to underpin the regional economy, after two months' average rainfall fell in a few hours.

State news agency RIA reported more than 140 people had died, citing Interior Ministry data.

Most of the dead - many of them elderly people caught unawares as they slept - were drowned. Police said survivors climbed into trees and onto roofs to stay above the waters, which flooded entire ground floors of some buildings.

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