15 dead as assistance is sought for thousands in Siberia
At least 15 people have been killed and thousands more remain homeless after torrential rains caused severe flooding in the Irkutsk district of Siberia, Russia, near the border with Mongolia.
Rabbi Aharon Wagner, Chief Rabbi and director of Chabad Lubavitch in Irkutsk, has mobilized Jewish communities in the region, arranging for shipments of food to be sent to the disaster areas. Water mains have been damaged, and drinks are being shipped to the area as well.
Several important Jewish structures have been damaged or are threatened by the floodwaters, which are still rising in some areas. The Jewish cemetery was submerged in Tulun, which includes the resting place of Chassidic rebbes of Riminov. The historic synagogue in Nizhnyudinsk has thus far been spared, but many houses near the synagogue have been swept away into rubble.