Destroyed Kakhovka dam: water continues to flood the Kherson region
After the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in the Cherson war zone in southern Ukraine, water masses continue to flow out of the reservoir. The water level in the lake had dropped by one meter within 24 hours and was 13.05 meters as of Thursday morning (7:00 a.m. CEST), said the state hydroelectric power plant operator Ukrhydroenergo in Kiev. Meanwhile, the masonry is getting more and more damaged. The water is currently flowing freely through the shattered dam.
Together with the state energy supplier Ukrenerho, measures are now being explored to reduce the negative consequences of the damage to the Kachowka hydroelectric power plant, the group said. For example, the operation of other hydroelectric power plants and dams upstream of the destroyed plant on the Dnipro River should be changed to dam more water in front of the Kakhovka station and reduce pressure and flooding in the south of the country.
In the regional capital of Kherson, the flood level on Thursday morning was 5.61 meters, according to Ukrainian military governor Oleksandr Prokudin. According to the authorities, evacuations from flooded apartments and houses are underway. But many people didn’t want to leave the area, Produkin said. The regional capital is under Ukrainian control – unlike most of the left bank region, which is occupied by Russian troops. Because of the acts of war, the work of helpers is difficult and dangerous.
According to Ukrainian data, 600 square kilometers are currently under water, including 32 percent on territory controlled by Kiev and 68 percent on territory occupied by Moscow. The dam was destroyed on Tuesday night. Ukraine accuses Russian troops of mining and then blowing up the hydroelectric power station. On the other hand, Russia claims that the dam was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling.
Experts also believe it is possible that the dam, which has long been controlled by Russia, was poorly maintained and destroyed under the pressure of the water masses. The possibility of an investigation into the background to the catastrophe is being discussed internationally. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and shortly thereafter occupied large parts of the Cherson region.