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Zelenskyy Visits Area Flooded by Destroyed Dam as Five Reported Dead in Russian-Occupied Town

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in the flood-hit region of Kherson on Thursday to evaluate response to damage caused by a dam breach.

The Ukrainian leader wrote on his Telegram account that he was helping assess efforts to evacuate civilians, provide them with drinking water and other support, and try to stanch vast environmental damage.

Zelenskyy also raised the prospect of funding allocations to help compensate residents and businesses driven from their homes and offices by rising waters.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka, a Russian-occupied town 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the collapsed Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric plant, reported on Russian state TV Thursday that five of seven local residents who had been declared missing following the dam breach have died. The two remaining people have been found and efforts were being made to evacuate them, Vladimir Leontyev added.

At least 4,000 people have been evacuated from both the Russian and Ukrainian-controlled sides of the Dnieper river, which has become part of the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces in the more than 15-month-old war, officials said.

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The true scale of the disaster has yet to emerge in an area that was home to more than 60,000 people.

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