MOSCOW (AP) — At least six people died as flash floods hit southern Russia, paralyzing road and train traffic across the Black Sea region and forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes, rescue officials said Friday.
The region, which hosted many events for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, saw a huge amount of rain on a single day — Wednesday — that equaled the region's average rainfall for two months. The deluge caused rivers to overflow and roar down the mountainous area.
Weather forecasters predicted torrential rain Friday evening in Sochi, the Winter Olympics city on the Black Sea where Russian President Vladimir Putin often welcomes foreign dignitaries.
Russia's Investigative Committee said Friday that six people died in several locations near the town of Tuapse when torrential rains and flash floods hit. An elderly woman also went missing after she was swept away by rushing water in Tuapse.
Footage on state television showed people being evacuated from villages in inflatable boats and emergency crews repairing a section of a collapsed bridge.
The floods have damaged roads and railroad bridges, paralyzing traffic. More than 20 trains running along the Black Sea coast have been delayed after a section of a railroad bridge collapsed, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at nearby stations. Emergency officials offered temporary accommodations and food to the passengers.
Russian Railways said Friday that they have repaired one of the tracks, allowing a train to travel between two major Black Sea coastal towns for the first time since Wednesday.