Meeting on relief efforts following floods in Altai, Khakassia and Tyva 2014-06-10 14:30:00 Vladimir Putin held a videoconference on relief efforts following the floods in Altai Territory and the republics of Altai, Khakassia and Tyva. Speech at the meeting on relief efforts following floods in Altai, Khakassia and Tyva President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Unfortunately, the elements seem to be acting against us again this year: heavy rains in the republics of Altai, Tyva, and Khakassia, and Altai Territory caused water levels to rise in local rivers on May 27–31. Over 200 towns and villages and 40 municipalities were flooded as a result. More than 36,000 people have been evacuated from the disaster area. We have discussed this issue on numerous occasions. I know that the Emergencies’ Ministry has joined the efforts recently along with the Defence Ministry. Together with the regional authorities, they have done everything necessary to save lives, avoid major damage and protect people’s property as far as it was possible. We have to take all the necessary measures to maintain a normal epidemiological situation in the area considering the dead cattle and cattle burial sites, if any. We should also see how we can help schools, where the finalists are about to take their National Final School Exams. In addition, we should do our utmost to restore the damaged housing and help the people in this difficult situation. Let us listen to reports from the actual locations, and then here in Moscow we will discuss all this with our colleagues and develop a plan of action for the short term. <…> Vladimir Putin: To conclude our discussion I would like to note that the crisis management system generally performed in a timely fashion and corresponding regional relief centres were set up on time. I would like to thank everyone for their work during the initial stage of the relief effort. At the same time, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Only by preliminary estimates, 66,000 people have been affected. I would like to ask heads of the Russian regions, together with the Emergencies Ministry, regional and municipal authorities to assess the scale of the disaster as soon as possible and make a list of all the people who need help. Everybody knows what to do, what areas need special attention – these include healthcare, restoration of the infrastructure and assistance to individual sectors of the economy, including agriculture. We should also provide timely assistance to every citizen who was affected, in full compliance with acting legislation – this includes both material assistance and help in restoring their lost property. I would like Mr Rogozhkin, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy, to get involved in this work, to travel to the regions to see what is being done and assess the efforts. I will be expecting your reports. One more thing. I am well aware that all agencies and heads of regions have been working actively and efficiently, and I am happy to hear you say that “everything is under control”. At the same time, we all know that people are in a difficult situation. I would like to warn you against becoming too satisfied with what has already been achieved and forgetting even for a second about the situation the people have found themselves in. We must react proceeding from the realities in place at a given time. We should never forget this! We should must concern for the needs of every affected family, every village and every town. We need to appraise the loss in monetary terms, but this appraisal should be fair, so that a) nobody is left out, and b) so that there is no room for profiteering. Unfortunately, I have to mention this, and all of you know it – that after the initial appraisal, you take a better look at things and the required amount goes down not by a fraction, but manifold. I don’t want this to happen. I would like the Emergencies Ministry to focus on this as well. There should be a complex professional appraisal of the damages and then the final request will be made for the required funding from the federal budget. We will prepare a set of instructions after this meeting. I would like to ask you to work actively to mitigate the consequences of this natural disaster. I expect a report from you in six to eight weeks on efforts to restore lost property and damaged infrastructure.