State of emergency declared in Sochi due to flooding

Aug 9, 2013; Moscow, RUSSIA; General view of the countdown clock to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in front of the Kremlin and Red Square. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rampant flooding and mudslides have forced Russian officials to declare a state of emergency in and around Sochi, the city set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. A nearby town, Kepsha, had to be evacuated, but officials insist that water levels have begun to recede.

The flooding is just the latest setback in Russia’s preparation to host the Olympics. Vladimir Putin has already warned the workers in charge of the building projects that they must work faster in order to have all the necessary infrastructure constructed in time for the February starting date. It is estimated that hosting the Olympics will cost Russia $50 billion, making it the most expensive Olympics in history.

This week’s flooding isn’t the first weather issue construction crews have encountered in Sochi, nor is this state of emergency the first of the year. There was flooding in the Sochi airport earlier this month, and another water-related state of emergency declared back in March.

We will keep you posted as more information comes out. The 2014 Sochi Olympics will begin on February 7th.

[Source: Reuters]

Topics: Sochi, Vladimir Putin

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