The meeting was attended by Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo, Irkutsk Region Governor Sergei Levchenko, First Deputy Prime Minister – Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, as well as heads of relevant ministries, agencies and municipal entities.
Heavy rainfall has caused flash floods in Irkutsk Region. An emergency situation has been declared in the region.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
Over the past few days, as you are all well aware, Irkutsk Region experienced large-scale floods. Nizhneudinsky, Taishetsky, Tulunsky and Chunsky districts have suffered the greatest damage.
Unfortunately, there have been victims as well. Dozens of villages were flooded, homes destroyed, transportation, social and communal infrastructure disrupted. Today we will assess the situation here and look into what we can do and what we must do first of all.
We need to get down immediately to the following tasks. First, we must inform people about what is going on, where temporary accommodation can be found, and where they can get medical aid, potable water, food, medicine and essential items.
Let me stress that special attention must be paid to providing an uninterrupted supply of as much drinking water as needed. I am asking regional and local authorities as well as the federal agencies’ local bodies to stay in touch with the people and respond swiftly to their complaints and requests; among other things, we must help them find their families and create lists of those who have been evacuated so that their families and officials, of course, know who is where at this very moment.
Unfortunately, the floods continue, so we must establish additional temporary accommodation with all the necessary equipment in advance.
Secondly, we must immediately, practically today, begin paying the victims compensation. The government has already made its decision and the treasury and the Central Bank are down to work. However, let me stress that it is necessary that the money does not just get as far as the region itself– according to the Finance Minister’s report, it is already here in the region – that money must be given out to the people, to every person and to every family. I would like to instruct the governor to control this as strictly as possible.
Let me repeat this: we must start paying compensation right now, without waiting for the full and checked lists of the victims, although, of course, this must also be done immediately.
Third. Please keep the epidemiologic situation under control, primarily in the disaster-hit areas. This is a job primarily for Rospotrebnadzor [Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being] and the Health Ministry.
In fourth place come the children affected in the areas where there is flooding. They should be sent to summer camps, including those in other regions. Younger children must be accommodated together with their parents. The presidential envoy has already reported that these issues are being coordinated with the leadership of the adjacent regions but I would like to ask my colleagues from federal departments to see to it that children are sent not only to places nearby, but also to places around the country: there are plenty of summer camps for children.
Fifth. Prices of essential items must be strictly controlled and profiteers and unfair vendors should not be given the opportunity to make money on people’s misfortune. The Federal Antimonopoly Service and, if necessary, the Ministry of the Interior should step in when it comes to this.
Sixth. Please work out at once an action plan for housing restoration in order to complete this job as soon as possible. We understand only too well what the situation in the Siberian regions is like – summer is very short here and winter comes quickly, but the water levels are still high. When shall we build then?
There is very little time. Everything must be done so that people will not have to live in tents when the cold comes. And in general, all possible scenarios must be provided for.
We also need to promptly evaluate all the damage and to commence to restore the infrastructure, meaning the electricity, communications, transport, health care and educational facilities: schools, kindergartens and hospitals. Children should resume studying on time, in September.
I am instructing the Emergencies Ministry, the Irkutsk regional authorities and the relevant federal ministries to start at once to calculate the scope of the restoration work and to determine what kind of additional materials are required and how much funding will be needed, what building resources and materials, including from the neighboring regions, and if necessary from remote regions too.
Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoys in the Siberian and Far Eastern Federal Districts should assume control and coordinate the entire job.
I would like to once again repeat: all the tasks that I have mentioned have to be performed seamlessly, through interaction between all the levels of authority. It is extremely important in such situations.
I expect to hear your detailed reports on the situation and immediate plans. I would like to stress once again: plans for the short and middle term, considering the need to restore everything I have already mentioned: infrastructure, living quarters and social facilities.
Let us get down to work.
Vladimir Putin: Following our meeting today, draft instructions have been drawn up and I am now going to sign them. However, there is another thing we have all noticed: the scale is huge, in fact, the disaster is not over yet, the floods continue. It is not clear when the water levels will go down, we can only make estimations. And we are running out of time when it comes to restoring things. This is why I believe it is necessary to establish a governmental commission considering the scale of this natural disaster in Irkutsk Region, in order to coordinate the activities of the local, regional and federal authorities to timely restore the transport, energy and social facilities as well as living quarters, including houses. The commission will be headed by Vitaly Mutko. I will inform him in just a moment.
I believe that all the representatives of both regional and federal agencies as well as my municipal colleagues must coordinate their work as carefully as possible. The result will largely depend on this.
I am asking you not to regard your tasks as just a formality but to work properly. There are many victims and we have a lot to get done. The final result will depend on the coordination of this work.
It is impossible to deliver anything if there is no transport and the transport infrastructure is not put back in order. It is impossible to work if there is no electricity. Of course, if no seeds arrive in time, it will be impossible to restore anything related to cattle breeding and so on; the task would not be solved in general. I am not even mentioning healthcare. We understand how important it is.
This is why I am once again calling on you all to work together, actively and effectively. I will gather everyone I need in Moscow on July 3 to look into the developments and how the work is being organised. We will discuss this once again in Moscow.
I would like to wish you every success in your joint work.