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article imageMan drowns as floods hit Russian Olympic city of Sochi

By AFP     Jun 25, 2015 in World

A man drowned on Thursday when severe flooding hit the Russian resort of Sochi which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, destroying homes and cutting off transport links.

Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Black Sea city, deploying rescue workers from other cities to help cope with the disaster, the emergencies ministry said.

The body of a man in his forties who appeared to have drowned was found in Adler, on the outskirts of Sochi, authorities said.

A torrential downpour dumped the equivalent of two months of rain in just 14 hours on the city of 400,000 residents.

Around 400 homes were destroyed in the part of the city closest to the shore of the Black Sea.

"The Kherota river overflowed its banks, the train station was flooded and train services had to be suspended," Sochi's mayor Anatoly Pakhomov said.

Around 2,000 people were stranded at the airport which was under one metre of water, the mayor added.

Several of the venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics were flooded, as was the Formula One circuit to host the Russian Grand Prix that was inaugurated in October last year.

Russia spent an estimated $50 billion (45 billion euros) to build facilities and infrastructure to host the Winter Olympics in the Soviet-era resort.

Earlier this month freak floods killed at least 19 people and ravaged a zoo in the former Soviet nation of Georgia further south.

A tiger that escaped from the Tbilisi Zoo mauled a man to death before being shot dead by police.

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