Almost 6,000 people have been evacuated on both sides of the Dnipro River after flooding caused by the destruction of the Russian-occupied Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, officials said Wednesday.
The destruction of the dam near the frontline in Ukraine flooded dozens of villages and parts of a nearby city, sparking fears of a humanitarian disaster.
Officials have said thousands will have to leave their homes and many are already doing so under their own steam.
"The evacuation of the population continues in the Kherson region. Our rescuers, police and volunteers have already evacuated 1,894 citizens," Ukraine's Interior Minister Oleg Klymenko said on television.
He said 30 settlements had been flooded, 10 of which are under Russian control.
"So far, more than 4,000 people have been evacuated," in the part of the Kherson region occupied by Russia, the Moscow-installed head of the region Vladimir Saldo said on Telegram.
"It is a bit premature to talk about going back," Saldo said, advising people to wait in centres for the displaced.
In Ukrainian-controlled Kherson, AFP journalists saw rescuers using small boats and amphibious vehicles to get to stranded locals, some of whom had to flee with little more than their passports and pets.
On the Russian side, the most affected town is Nova Kakhovka, where Russian authorities said they would start pumping water out on Thursday.