On 11 June, heavy rains in the Zagatala and Balakan regions of Azerbaijan caused major flooding in the village of Katekh.
The rains caused the Dalichay River, which runs through Katekh, to overflow, flooding over 50 homes and 400 courtyards, sweeping away poultry and small cattle, and destroying about 10 fences.
One of the residents affected is 71-year-old widow Maya Hasanova, who lost her chickens and her only cow to the floodwaters.
“I used to sell the chickens’ eggs and the cow’s milk to buy medicine,” Hasanova told Meydan TV. “I’ve been on the street for two days, there’s nothing left of my health. After I get my house in order I’ll have to start again from scratch. How can I start over with a pension of 145 manats ($85 per month)? At the very least, the government should give compensation, give money for the chickens and the cow, and rebuild the barn.”
Hasanova is one of many residents of Katekh who have suffered from the flooding. The Abdullayev family have spent two nights sleeping outside.
“The say that the Emergency Situations Commission is working,” Sabuhi Abdullayev, the father of four small children, said in an interview with Meydan TV. “If they’re working it’s going very slowly. There’s still water in my house. I can’t put my children in there. We brought the bedding outside and we’re waiting for it to dry, along with the mattress. Our furniture, our other things, our clothes – it’s all underwater. I emptied part of (the house) with a pump, but it’s not completely empty.”
The Balakan Region Executive Authority told Meydan TV that the flooding caused serious damage in two villages – Katekh and Gazbina. The Commission, along with local authorities, is currently working to identify the affected farms.
“We have concentrated all of our efforts in those villages, and the water is being pumped out of the homes, courtyards, and fields with special equipment,” the Executive Authority told Meydan TV. “I would say that a lot of work has been done. In Katekh there shouldn’t be any more flooded homes. Right now it’s summer, the weather’s warm, soon the sunny weather will dry out the roofs and walls of the houses. The families will probably be able to return to their homes. If their farms have been damaged, citizens should appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture, that agency might be able to offer certain assistance.”
The flood washed away eight small bridges and damaged electrical wires and gas lines along Dalichay River. The Executive Authority says that electricity will be restored.