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MSF Assists Flood Victims in Eastern Siberia
May 24, 2001
More than 17,000 people in Eastern Siberia lost their homes last weekend due to severe flooding. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has begun distributing donated supplies to flood victims.
Residents of the town of Lensk and 16 surrounding villages were evacuated when ice jams caused the Lena River to overflow. Some were evacuated to the town of Mirny and thousands have taken refuge with host families. Many, however, still have precarious living arrangements. More than 5,000 are currently sheltered in eight collective centers, five in the town of Lensk, one on the outskirts, and two in nearby villages. Though food and water are available, the centers have no electricity or heating, humidity is high, and temperatures at night drop below freezing.
For the next few weeks, MSF plans to focus its assistance on these vulnerable persons, offering relief materials and supplying local doctors and community health workers in the collective centers with the basic drugs and medical materials they lack. MSF has already sent 1.4 tons of cargo, including medical supplies, blankets and warm coats, to Mirny.