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Flash flooding hits Russia's Olympic city Sochi

media captionHours of torrential rain hit Sochi, bringing the resort to a standstill

Residents have been evacuated from Sochi in Russia after flash flooding submerged part of the city that staged the Winter Olympics in 2014.

Several hours of torrential rain brought trains to a standstill and rendered roads impassable in the Black Sea resort.

Sochi international airport had to be closed and a Formula 1 circuit in the nearby Adler district was flooded.

A state of emergency was declared but there were no reports of casualties.

"There's no water, no gas, no electricity. They say it could be back tonight or maybe tomorrow," Alla Atakyan, a resident of Adler, told Reuters news agency.


Footage showed residents with water up to their knees, one attempting to clear her property with a broom. In one village, a snake could be seen swimming through the floodwater.

Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of Sochi, told Russia's Interfax news agency that a state of emergency had been declared.

Sochi saw more than three weeks' worth of rain in an hour, environmental officials told Interfax, flooding the Hosta, Kudepsta, and Herota rivers.

Local authorities have reportedly warned that tornados may form off the coast and move inland.

The flash flooding follows a similar but worse episode last week, further south in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Severe flooding in the Georgian capital Tbilisi killed at least 19 people and caused extensive damage. Dozens of animals escaped from Tbilisi zoo, including a tiger which killed a man before being shot dead.

A zoo near Sochi was spared flooding on Thursday. Jeanne Zazina, Deputy Director of the Sochi zoo, said: "We are closer to the central area, not in the Adler. We are fine, no one swam away."

Related Topics

  • Russia
  • Sochi

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