Evacuations under way as water gushes through damaged Kakhovka dam

Russia and Ukraine are accusing each other of blowing up a major dam in the town of Nova Kakhovka in Kherson region.

A Soviet-era dam was blown up early Tuesday morning, unleashing a significant amount of water now flowing free through the dam and the hydroelectric power plant.  

Ukraine’s military authorities said the Kakhovka Dam was destroyed by Russian forces, while Russian authorities blame Ukraine. For months, both sides have been accusing each other of plotting to blow up the dam.

The Nova Kakhovka dam provides cooling water to Zaporizhzhia, which is Europe’s biggest atomic plant, and to Crimea.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was aware of the damage to the dam and its experts at the plant were monitoring the situation closely.

At least eight different settlements in Kherson are already flooded, a local military official said, and evacuations are under way.

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