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Flash Floods Leave 171 Dead in Russia

Russia Flooding
This Sunday, July 8, 2012 photo shows an overall view of main stadium of the city of Krymsk. The water rushed into Krymsk early Saturday with such speed and volume that residents said they suspected that water had been intentionally released from a reservoir in the mountains above, a claim government officials deny. (AP Photo/Vladimir Smolyakov)
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This Sunday, July 8, 2012 photo shows an overall view of main stadium of the city of Krymsk. The water rushed into Krymsk early Saturday with such speed and volume that residents said they suspected that water had been intentionally released from a reservoir in the mountains above, a claim government officials deny. (AP Photo/Vladimir Smolyakov)

More than 170 Russians were killed in flash flooding after a freak storm dumped about a foot of rain in a city south of Moscow on Friday.

The floods struck at night in the small town of Krymsk, where there is reportedly now growing public anger of the little to no warning from authorities. Many people fear the death toll will keep rising.

More than 29,000 people in Krymsk and the seaside resort town Gelendzhik lost all of their possessions, while about 300 homes in Krymsk and 100 in Gelendzhik were damaged beyond repair.

President Vladimir Putin flew to visit the city of 57,000 the day after the tragedy to view the damage, promise to rebuild and outline compensation to homeowners, according to The Associated Press.

Russian news reports have shown submerged houses and cars. Many people were forced to climb on top of trees or on the roofs of their homes to escape the floodwaters.

Some have reported that it looked like Krymsk was hit “by a tsunami.”

Putin declared Monday a national day of mourning for those that died in the floods.  The government is reviewing claims that the flood warnings issued were not issued promptly enough.

The flooding inundated Krymsk so quickly that that residents said they suspected that water had been intentionally released from a reservoir in the mountains above the city to prevent the dam from being breached.

-With Associated Press

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