Death toll rises to 20 in Siberian floods, 8 still missing


In this photo provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry press service, flooded houses are seen after been affected by a flooding in Irkutsk region, Russia, Friday, June 29, 2019. According to the latest data of the regional emergency command center, the flood has affected 48 settlements of five municipal districts of the region. A source in the emergency services told TASS on Saturday that as a result of the flood in the region five people died and several were reported missing. (AP Photo/Ministry of Emergency Situations press service via AP)

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities say that at least 20 people have died and eight are missing in massive floods in southeastern Siberia.

The Emergency Ministry’s regional branch said Wednesday that five of the 13 people missing have been rescued and the search for those still unaccounted is under way.

The floods that followed torrential rains swept 55 towns and villages in the Irkutsk region, affecting 4,000 houses. Officials said that thousands were evacuated and 191 have been hospitalized.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to join the rescue efforts. The armed forces have used amphibious vehicles to carry some of the trapped residents to safety.

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