KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine evacuated more people on Friday from southern areas where officials said at least five people had been killed in flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.
Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said four people had died and 13 people were missing in the Kherson region, and that one person had died in the Mykolayiv region.
A Russian-appointed official said eight people had died in Russian-held territory and more than 5,800 had been evacuated from their homes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the authorities were working round the clock to save people.
“The evacuation continues. Wherever we can get people out of the flood zone, we are doing it,” Zelenskiy said, posting photographs online showing flooded areas where emergency services workers were using boats to rescue people and animals.
Klymenko said 48 settlements in the Kherson region had been flooded, including 14 on territory occupied by Russia. In the Mykolayiv region, 23 villages and towns were flooded.
Kherson’s military administration said 2,528 people, including 140 children had been evacuated from flooded areas.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told a government meeting that preliminary estimates put environmental damage at 55 billion hryvnias ($1.5 billion).
Ukraine has accused Russian forces of blowing up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station and dam from inside the plant, which had been under Russian occupation since the early weeks of Russia’s invasion in February last year.
Moscow has blamed the destruction of the dam on Ukraine. Each side has accused the other of shelling civilians as rescue are carried out.
Ukraine would need about 1 billion euros to rebuild the hydroelectric station, Shmyhal said, adding the government was working with the World Bank and other partners on more detailed damage and needs report.
(Reporting by Olena Harmash, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
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