16,000 people affected by flooding after Ukraine dam destruction: UN

The UN refugee agency on Thursday said some 16,000 people have been affected by flooding in the areas controlled by Ukraine after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.

Citing national authorities, the UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told Anadolu that as of 8 a.m. (0500GMT) Thursday, 1,995 people have been reportedly evacuated or left the area, while hundreds of thousands lack access to safe drinking water.

Regarding the people affected in the areas under Russia's control, Mantoo said: "Many thousands more in the areas under the temporary military control of the Russian Federation have been affected to whom humanitarian organizations currently have no access."

She said the agency is contributing within the areas of its expertise to the collective humanitarian response to the emergency.

Noting that the UNHCR and partner agencies are currently carrying out a damage assessment to understand the scale of the impact of the flooding, she underlined that accessing the area is "extremely challenging due to the extensive flooding and serious risk of floating landmines in the areas affected."

An emergency was announced on both sides of the dam after the burst – one side is controlled by Russia, another by Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday accused each other of damaging the Kakhovka dam, which led to the flooding of the neighboring settlements.

Moscow accused Ukraine of attempting to cut Crimea off the freshwater it receives from the Kakhovka Reservoir, formed by the dam, while Kyiv claimed that Russia tries to slow an expected counteroffensive.

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