President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I have asked you to come here to report on emergency situation relief efforts in the Krasnodar Territory.
Unfortunately, lives have been lost. The infrastructure is significantly damaged, and in some places people still have no electricity.
Please report on how the relief efforts are proceeding.
Moreover, we must do everything to help people, and if you need help from the federal centre, from Moscow, please let us know.
Mr Zinichev, we will start with you, please.
Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev: Mr President, a set of preventive measures had been taken before the emergency, which has let us escape more severe consequences. They included alert messages, the evacuation of people to temporary shelters with catering, drinking water, medical aid and counselling.
Headquarters were set up and the task force was built up. Currently the task force comprises 1,460 people, including 400 from the Emergencies Ministry: a Rostov rescue centre’s unit was redeployed. Now we have launched relief and recovery operations.
Our priority as of now is certainly water and electricity supply. On the whole, work is underway, there is sufficient personnel and resources.
Vladimir Putin: Some of the facilities are reconnected on a band-aid circuit scheme, aren’t they?
Yevgeny Zinichev: Yes, they are.
Vladimir Putin: How long, according to your estimates, will it take to restore power in full?
Yevgeny Zinichev: Concerning electricity supply, everything is practically ready there but it is impossible to turn the electricity on because the substations are submerged, and houses are damp. We will be launching electricity as soon as the substations are ready and will be drying residences straight away because winter is coming.
Krasnodar Territory Governor Veniamin Kondratyev: As of now, it is safe to say that electricity supply to communities has been completely restored, even to streets, but houses are not connected yet.
Vladimir Putin: Why should people be happy that something has been restored when there is no electricity in their homes?
Veniamin Kondratyev: They need to be dried up because the conduits are wet; everything is soaked. If we connect electricity to houses now, it can cause accidents, God forbid.
Vladimir Putin: That is a different matter.
Veniamin Kondratyev: This is why our task is – we have connected the mains whereas now, thanks to the Emergencies Ministry, we are bringing in blow heaters to the houses to dry them, and then we will turn on electricity.
Water supply: the issue has been resolved save for two communities. The main one is Tuapse, and we have to admit that water pressure was not sufficient to conduct operations throughout the day yesterday but temporary water supply will be turned on by tomorrow morning. This cannot be done sooner than tomorrow morning due to the width of the river, the existing water supply pipeline networks have been completely destroyed, so even though it is temporary, time is needed until tomorrow morning to make it with due quality.
The key priority today is to restore the normal rhythm of life, normal way of life.
Vladimir Putin: Were many residences destroyed?
Veniamin Kondratyev: Water flooded approximately 2,364 houses.
Vladimir Putin: Please identify the degree of damage jointly with the Emergencies Ministry.
Veniamin Kondratyev: About 5,500 people were affected.
Vladimir Putin: We must assess the damage and so on and identify the recipients and the amount of assistance.
Veniamin Kondratyev: Commissions are now actively doing that, making records. Payments for damages already began this morning. The territory’s budget allocates around one billion rubles, more or less, the exact figure will be seen later.
I think, the commissions will have visited everyone by tomorrow evening, and then we will have a more exact picture of the compensation amounts, compensation of expenses for restoring damaged property – completely or partially damaged.
Vladimir Putin: Have you actually been there?
Veniamin Kondratyev: I came here directly from the flood area. Together with the Prosecutor of the Territory, I made rounds of the streets in Tuapse, in the Apsheron District until 10 pm last night.
Vladimir Putin: All right.
If any extra help is needed, report to me at once.