When the sun finally came out recently, women at a temporary camp in Shirvan, in central Azerbaijan, tried to tidy the tents they now call home, and restore a semblance of normalcy to their lives.
"The Kura River made us Internally Displaced Persons, not the Karabakh conflict," recounted Parvana, a 42-year-old woman from the village of Polad Togay, as tears rolled down her face. "The water suddenly caught us. . . .It was strong and no house could withstand it.”
Heavy rains during the month of May have caused flooding in 20 villages surrounding the Kura River, Azerbaijan's main waterway, which enters the country from Georgia, where it is called the Mtkvari. The river is rising at the fastest rate in a century, according to officials.
Some 20,000 people – or more than 4,300 families – in 20 villages near the Kura River have been affected by the flooding so far, the Ministry of Health reports.
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Mina Muradova is a freelance reporter based in Baku.