Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who flew to the Black Sea coast on Saturday where more than 140 people were killed in a flash flood, ordered investigators to find out whether local authorities had given residents enough warning to get to safety, reports Reuters.
Floods and landslides hit the Krasnodar region, a relatively rich area with thriving agriculture and tourism industries to underpin the regional economy, after two months' average rainfall fell in a few hours.
State news agency RIA reported more than 140 people had died, citing Interior Ministry data.
Most of the dead - many of them elderly people caught unawares as they slept - were drowned. Police said survivors climbed into trees and onto roofs to stay above the waters, which flooded entire ground floors of some buildings.
Russian news agencies quoted local officials as saying heavy rains, which have persisted in the region for over a month, were likely to stop by Monday.
The Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, the main outlet for wheat from the world's second largest exporter and a key loading port for crude oil from the world's largest producer, could resume loadings on Sunday, port sources said.
But the consequences of the flash flood could be more lasting for Putin, who has been criticized in the past for a slow response to deadly disasters, though he moved swiftly on Saturday to show he was on top of the rescue effort.
Putin was shown on state television with the regional governor, surveying the flood zone from a helicopter, and bumping over a country road in a minibus with the head of the Krymsk district, discussing the disaster response on the way