Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said evacuations have been ordered with immediate effect after a sprawling dam and hydro-electric power plant in the Russian-occupied Kherson region collapsed early Tuesday.
There are “about 80 settlements in the flood zone,” Zelensky posted on Telegram following an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defence Council.
He went on to lay out the timeline of events before stressing that all towns and villages in the region must be supplied with water.
Zelensky said the explosion occurred at 2:50 a.m. local time (7:50 p.m. ET) when "Russian terrorists carried out an internal explosion of the structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant."
Russian authorities have denied their involvement in the breach of the Nova Kakhova dam.
A total of 885 people have been evacuated from the region so far amid fears of widespread devastation.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry said earlier that Ukrainian authorities were helping people in the liberated west bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson, adding they "are worried" about people in the occupied east bank.