September 01, 2012

After the Waters Receded



After the Waters Receded

Early in the morning of Saturday, July 7, a massive flood, wrought by heavy rains, swept through the southern city of Krymsk, population 57,000. It was later learned that city officials knew of the threat of floods the night before, but did nothing. According to official estimates, 153 persons died in the flood, though real numbers are suspected to be much higher. Over 7200 homes were destroyed.

Volunteers rushed south to help the beleaguered city, and donations flowed in from around the country and around the world. Russian Life’s own Tamara Eidelman was one of the volunteers. These are some extracts from her missives.

July 24, 2012 – The city of Krymsk is an absolute hell. At first you don’t realize this, because the city is destroyed in a rather strange manner, irregularly. You drive through the city and see normal apartment blocks, houses, stores, and it is as if everything is fine. Then, on the very next street, before every house there is a pile of boards and trash – all that remains of the home’s furnishings. Right next door there are completely demolished homes, houses without windows, without roofs. Sometimes they are simple little cottages, but there are also apartment buildings – two or three stories, and inside all is devastated. And everything is covered in a disgusting silt, which the locals for some reason call mulyaka.… Trucks are constantly driving past, and far from all the roads are paved, so the air is full of awful dust clouds. Combine this with the 30º C heat (86º F) and it creates a hellish mix….


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Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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