Terskol Village, Russia Mudslide; 19 M’sians Heading To Mt Elbrus Safe

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the 19 Malaysians who were on their climb towards the peak of Mount Elbrus, Russia were stranded following the mudflow that descended on Terskol Village on Friday.

All roads near the affected areas are inaccessible thus far, Wisma Putra said in a statement on Saturday, adding that the Malaysians affected by this disaster are reported to be safe.

However, the Embassy of Malaysia in Moscow is working closely with the local authorities to evacuate the climbers as soon as possible.

Malaysians who are present around the affected areas are encouraged to reach out to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia or the Embassy of Malaysia in Moscow as follows:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia Tel.: 03-8887 4570 E-mail: dutyofficer@kln.gov.my

Embassy of Malaysia, Moscow Address: Mosfilmovskaya Ulitsa 50, 115127 Moscow Tel.: +7 495 419 9898 / +7 495 419 9899 / +7 905 7466 944 E-mail: mwmoscow@kln.gov.my

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia hopes that the family members will remain calm while evacuation procedures are followed.

Reports from MOSCOW say more than 500 people, including over 130 foreigners were cut off by a mudslide in the mountains of Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria region.

The tourists were cut off after the Baksan River increased in the region and the mudslides came from the slopes of the Adyl-Su mountain.

The source noted that citizens of 14 foreign countries were among those affected by the mudslide. The foreign tour groups include citizens of France, England, South Korea, India, Egypt, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine, the source added.

Initially it was reported that nationals of the United States, Germany, China, Poland, Slovenia and Malaysia were among the foreigners trapped.

Some eight sections of Russia’s federal route A-158 were damaged as a result of the mud flows. The mudslides have also resulted in five villages in the area with a total population of over 6,000 being completely cut off.

Rescuers have established contact with all tourist groups staying in the mountains of the Elbrus District of Russia’s southwestern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria following a powerful mudslide, the Emergencies Ministry told TASS.

Some 224 people were staying at ten tourist facilities and 49 tourist groups consisting of more than 300 people, including 133 foreigners, travelled along the routes of Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Russia and Europe.

“Contact has been established with tourist groups and they are being accompanied and taken to safe areas,” a ministry spokesman said.

Rescuers evacuated tourists from the Terskol village to Tyrnyauz by Mi-8 helicopters. Some 114 tourists, including 67 foreigners, have been evacuated by seven flights.

Five settlements, home to more than 5,200 people, were cut off access to roads. Six settlements were left without power and gas supply. Power supply was restored to all those villages.

Some 365 people and 50 pieces of equipment are dealing with the aftermath of mudslides.