Over 160 apartment buildings have been flooded and more than 745 people evacuated in Russia's industrial Urals region of Chelyabinsk, local emergencies officials said Tuesday.

"Torrential rains since late April 29 have raised the water level in the Sim river resulting in floods in the towns of Asha, Minyar and Sim," officials said.

In the three towns of the region - which is located in the watershed of the large rivers of Volga, Ural and Tobol - 166 homes have been flooded and 745 people evacuated. About 30 kilometers of the road linking Sim and Minyar have been flooded too.

In Asha, patients in a hospital closer to the river were also either temporarily released or transferred to another hospital. Several tourists on a small island in the Sim river, cut off from the mainland by rising water, have been rescued.

The local emergencies department has set up a center to monitor the situation.