Nova Kakhovka Dam blown up in Ukraine’s Kherson region, settlements being evacuated

A vast Soviet-era dam in the Russian-controlled part of southern Ukraine has been blown up, according to both Ukrainian and Russian forces, unleashing a flood of water across the war zone and potentially displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Both sides blamed the other for destroying the dam, which spans the Dnieper River and powers a hydro-electric power plant, as well as supplying water to the Crimea Peninsula and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Ukrainian authorities ordered hundreds of thousands of residents downriver from the dam to evacuate, labelling the destruction of the dam an “ecological disaster playing out now … and thousands of animals and ecosystems will be destroyed in the next few hours”.

Water levels in surrounding areas had already increased by 10 metres in the hours following the dam’s destruction, Russian-installed authorities said, and were expected to peak at 12 metres sometime over the next 72 hours before subsiding.

A Russian-installed official in the nearby town of Nova Kakhovka said half the span of the dam had been destroyed and the structure was continuing to collapse, adding it would likely be impossible to repair the dam after the blast.



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