President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with evacuees and visited a medical institution while in flood-stricken Kherson in southern Ukraine.
He thanks the “heroic” medical professionals for their work “even under fire”.
Zelensky also claims that he assured local residents who had been evacuated due to flooding after the Kakhovka dam had been destroyed that assistance would be available to help them get their lives back on track.
Addressing them directly he writes: “You are going through this difficult ordeal now. We will help you and rebuild everything that needs to be restored. I thank you and wish you good health.”
There have been reports from media outlets in both Ukraine and Russia about people who have died following floods caused by the Kakhovka dam breach.
Three people drowned in flooding in Kherson Oblast, the Kyiv Independent reports. They cited Yevhen Ryshchuk, the exiled mayor of the Russian-occupied Oleshky.
While the Russian-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka is reported by state-owned news agency RIA as saying that five people have people have died following Tuesday’s incident.
“Our task is to protect lives and help people as much as possible. I thank the rescuers and volunteers! I thank everyone involved in this work!” he writes.
While the water level seems to have stabilised in Kherson itself, it still flows through streets at a daunting height. Flies now fill the air along with a pungent smell.
Rescue teams and volunteers are continuing to head out on boats to salvage anyone, or anything they can. Outgoing artillery fire punctuated their efforts.
Communities on small islands close to Russian occupied territory are experiencing the worst of these floods. The flood has submerged whole homes there.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated here so far, but thousands are thought to still be in need of help.