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War in Ukraine: Huge volume of water flows uncontrollably after huge hydroelectric dam in Kherson ‘blows up’

A huge hydroelectric dam built on Soviet Unions and located in the part of Kherson (southern Ukraine) controlled by the Russian armed forces was “blown up” today, resulting in to leak a huge amount of water, according to the warring sides, who blame each other for destroying critical infrastructure.

Videos circulating on social networking sites – which cannot be verified at this time – show very powerful explosions at the dam in Nova Kahovka, on the Dnieper River. Other videos show huge amounts of water pouring out of the dam’s wreckage and shocked bystanders.

The dam, thirty meters high and 3.2 kilometers long, was built in 1956 on the Dnieper, as part of the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Nova Kahovka.

In its reservoir there are 18 cubic kilometers of water and from it both the Crimean peninsula – which was annexed by Russia in 2014–, as well as the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which needs an uninterrupted supply to cool its reactors.

The opposing sides blamed each other for the destruction of the damaccording to Reuters and the Athens News Agency.

“The [φράγμα στην] Kakhovka was blown up by the Russian occupation forces,” the command of the southern sector of the Ukrainian army said on Facebook. The same source added that “the extent of the disaster, the speed and volume of the water and the areas that are likely to be flooded are being clarified.”

According to officials close to Moscow who spoke to Russian news agencies, the dam was shelled by the Ukrainians. An official stationed by Moscow in the region spoke of a “very serious terrorist act”, terminology that also refers to a Ukrainian attack.

The evacuation of communities in the area has already begunsaid Khersons regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin.

“Within five hours the water will have reached a critical level,” Mr Prokudin warned via Telegram at 06:45 [τοπική ώρα και ώρα Ελλάδας].

According to Russian state news agency TASS, some 80 communities will need to be evacuated in the region.

Source: News Beast

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