Tulun, July 2, 2019
The Irkutsk region has been suffering from a major flooding crisis since June 25, 2019, and have since declared a state of emergency. According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, as of July 1, due to flooding in the region, over 6700 residential buildings were flooded, in which live about 32,000 people including 4,050 children; 5 people have died, 744 were injured, and 153 were hospitalized.
The city of Tulun is the most effected by the disaster, and the Russian Orthodox Church has already set up a humanitarian aid center on the scene, to distribute water, bread, and other necessities which are flowing in from neighboring dioceses to help the victims of the disaster. Humanitarian aid will be delivered directly to the emergency shelters as reported on Pravoslavie.ru.
“We are now busy distributing humanitarian aid for Tulun, where the situation is at its worst. The water is slowly beginning to subside, but the dam on the river Iya is preventing water from leaving the basin. Five story apartment buildings in the center are flooded up to the ceiling of the second floor. We’ve collected cereals, baby food, hygiene products, and children’s items.” Said the director of the social department of the Sayansk diocese, Priest Vladimir Danilko.
The rector of St. Nicholas Church in Tulun, the Priest Andrei Tsymbal, is actively lending aid at the emergency headquarters. He visited victims at all the shelters, and set up another center to collect and distribute aid at his parish.
“I traversed the villages of the Tulun region which could be reached. What I saw just overwhelmed me. In the village of Uigat, the entire hamlet is under water.” Said Father Andrei. “It is impossible to reach the village of Vladimirovka. The village of Kazakova is completely submerged as well, and the dachas (cottages) along the river are completely flooded; houses are literally floating. The military and rescuers are working on an analysis of the dam.
According to Father Andrei, water, flour, medicine, and other aid from the dioceses will be delivered to the aid headquarters by the evening of July 2. St. Nicholas Church has currently become a center where people in need can get drinking water, food and hygiene products, as well as some clothing.