Ukraine: Dam destruction 'monumental humanitarian, economic and ecological catastrophe': Guterres

Water from the reservoir of the Kakhovka dam is also used to cool the nearby Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP), Europe's largest, which has been under constant threat since being occupied by Russian forces early in the conflict.

The UN Office in Ukraine tweeted that "thousands of people in Ukraine are in peril" following the major breach in the Soviet-era Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric plant, on the country's largest river, the Dnipro, in the southeast, with video showing torrents of water cascading through.

'Devastating consequence'
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters in New York outside the Security Council that the UN had no access to independent information to verify how the catastrophe had occurred.

"But one thing is clear: this is another devastating consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine", he said, whose effects are being seen in dozens of towns and cities along the Dnipro River.

At least 16,000 have already lost their homes he said, assuring that the UN and partners were rushing support to the affected areas, including drinking water, purification tablets, "and other critical assistance."

He said the tragedy "was yet another example of the horrific price of war on people. The floodgates of suffering have been overflowing for more than a year, and that must stop", along with all attacks on civilians and infrastructure.

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