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Scores killed in Russia flooding

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 8, 2012 -- Updated 0732 GMT (1532 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: At least 141 people have died in the flooding, government officials say
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the affected areas
  • Police find more bodies as flood waters recede in the Krymsk district
  • Floodwaters rose sharply and inundated homes as people slept, reports say

Moscow (CNN) -- At least 141 people have died as floodwaters surge through southern Russia's Krasnodar region, state-run media reported Sunday, citing Russia's Interior Ministry.

Of those killed, 130 are in the Krymsk district, nine in Gelendzhik district and two in the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, the ministry said, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

The flash floods follow heavy rains since Friday.

Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the affected areas, meeting with local officials and surveying damage from the air.

The Krymsk district is a mostly rural area with many one-story homes, Russia's state news agency Itar-Tass reported.

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Floodwaters rose 7 meters (23 feet) overnight in Krymsk, the news agency said, flooding homes while most people were still asleep. Others were rescued by police after seeking refuge on roofs and in trees, it said.

The death toll has climbed steadily through the day as the waters have gradually subsided, allowing police to find more bodies in flooded buildings in Krymsk.

Television footage from the Krasnodar region showed scenes of flooded streets, stranded vehicles and people wading through torrents of knee-deep muddy water outside homes.

The state-run Ria Novosti news agency said dozens of passenger trains have been diverted in the region as the water level remains 19 inches above the tracks.

Krasnodar also suffered deadly flooding in October 2010, when torrential rains in mountainous areas caused rivers to overflow, flooding villages nearby.

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CNN's Arkady Irshenko contributed to this report.

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