Video shot from an inflatable boat showed a man in the boat holding onto the side of a house as water lapped the walls just beneath a pitched roof. A hum can be heard growing louder until a solid thud cuts short the sound. The person filming crouches and pans to the right in time to catch a cascade of water forming a misty wall of droplets above the dark brown floodwaters.
NBC News geolocated the video to Korabelnaya Square in Kherson, which is downriver from the Kakhovka dam. The dam’s destruction released a surge of water into homes, fields and roads along the Dnieper River toward Kherson, which was liberated from the Russians by Ukraine in November.
A Sky News team filmed residents running in panic at an evacuation point in Kherson as the deep “booms” sounded.
“Russia is shelling the drowning Kherson and flooded coastal areas, preventing rescuers from evacuating the population,” Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Thursday on Twitter.
NBC News was not able to confirm the charges.
Russians, in turn, accused the Ukrainians of shelling Russian-held territory. Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-installed acting governor of the Kherson region, said an evacuation point in Hola Prystan had been hit.
The dam collapsed earlier this week, leaving the water level of the Kakhovka reservoir at “dangerous low,” said Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station, which oversees the facility.
Another video posted on Twitter shows the chief rabbi of Ukraine, Moshe Azman, addressing the camera to talk about evacuation attempts in Kherson.
An initial thud interrupts him midsentence, and Azman crouches down. A larger thud follows and echoes. Everyone at the scene, including the person holding the camera, lies flat on the ground, blocking the camera in a hasty attempt to get to safety.
Distant thuds and the sound of revving engines can be heard as the footage pans wildly. The person filming breathes loudly and scrambles forward until reaching a concrete wall. The camera pans, the person still breathing heavily, to show a clear sky, now quiet with a policeman and another armed man emerging from a patrol car.