By Nora Peter, IFRC

Major flooding in Siberia has forced hundreds of families to flee and left at least 700 homes damaged in the town of Ishim and the surrounding Tyumen region. Ishim, close to the Kazakh border, now faces the threat of Ishim River bursting its banks after a dam was washed away and downpours continue.

The Russian Red Cross is on the ground providing emergency supplies including food, drinking water and blankets to more than 1,500 people – many of whom were rescued by boat and broach to reception centres.

An airfield and roads have also been badly damaged by the flooding.

Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) representation in Russia, Davron Mukhamadiev  said: “The worst-hit areas area not out of danger yet –  the water level is rising daily and we expect it could reach as high as ten metres.

Russia, Ishim, 2017.  Major flooding in Russia has forced hundreds of families to flee and left at least 700 homes damaged in the town of Ishim and the surrounding Tyumen region. The Russian Red Cross is on the ground providing emergency supplies including food, drinking water and blankets to more than 1,500 people ñ many of whom were rescued by boat and brought to reception centres.

“Russian Red Cross emergency teams are at the scene providing the items people need most right now but it is likely that more support will be needed as the situation worsens.”

A second wave of flooding  is expected  later this week that could overwhelm the suburbs of Ishim as well as bring with it the risk of illness from contaminated water – including hepatitis A. Vaccinations are being carried out with 200 people, including 50 children, having received the jab so far.

The Russian Red Cross has launched a fundraising campaign and its volunteers and staff have been providing  10,000 litres of water, bedding, powdered milk and tinned food to those in the hardest hit areas.