A Ukrainian serviceman looks on a she stands in a flooded street of Kherson, Ukraine, 06 June 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/IVAN ANTYPENKO

Russia raises death toll from Kakhovka dam explosion to 46

Moscow, June 22 (EFE).- Russia raised the death toll from the Kakhovka dam break earlier this month in Ukraine’s Kherson area to 46 on Thursday.

An emergency services spokesperson told Tass news agency that 46 people have died and 122 were hospitalized with hypothermia and various injuries.

Previously, the Russian side had reported 41 deaths in Ukrainian territories under its control.

According to Kyiv, more than 500 people have died in the Russian-occupied territory in southern Ukraine due to flooding caused by the blowing up of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River.

The pro-Russian administration, which controls the left bank of the river, has reported that 8,100 people were evacuated from the flooded areas, about 1,900 of whom are in temporary shelters.

Russia accused Ukraine of blowing up the dam, calling it a “deliberate sabotage.”

Ukraine blamed Moscow for deliberately bombing the dam and the hydroelectric power station to stop a possible advance of Ukrainian forces into the territories occupied by Russia.

The burst on June 6 caused widespread floods, forcing thousands of people on either side of the Dnieper River.

The river, which has become one of the major fronts of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, meanders through the Kherson province, dividing it into regions controlled by the neighbors at war.

The pro-Russian administration has said water levels were practically back to normal in the region, and only low-lying areas remain flooded.

Disaster response teams of the Russian emergency ministry and utility services are currently pumping water from sewage and water supply facilities.

An anti-epidemiological effort is on in the affected area, with over 1,600 carcasses of dead animals collected and disposed of.

“As the waters recede, we continue to decontaminate streets and facilities using special chemical agents,” local government head Andrey Alexeyenko said. EFE