A lack of food, water and medicine will result in hundreds of deaths in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol if humanitarian aid fails to arrive in the next day or two, the city's deputy mayor has warned.

It comes as Russian shelling continues to destroy the city and urban fighting means dead bodies lie on streets for days.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mariupol's deputy mayor Sergei Orlov said the lack of food, water and aid means the humanitarian "situation is getting worse and worse" as "the city is in full blockade".

"I think I cannot find necessary words to describe all the awful situation. A lot of our people say they are suffering because of a lack of water and food. If the humanitarian convoy will not reach this city in the next day people will die - hundreds - because of lack of water and food," he said.

Mr Orlov added that humanitarian routes to and from Mariupol remain problematic with shelling and disruption from Russian forces and called on the international community to ensure humanitarian corridors are enabled to make aid deliveries to the city in the next day or two.

"We need strong support to set up these humanitarian corridors today, or the day after tomorrow, to enable people to receive water and food. It is absolutely necessary," said Mr Orlov.

The deputy mayor was speaking as an evacuation convoy of 160 cars escaped Mariupol yesterday. He said the convoy was an unofficial one with people fleeing on whatever routes local knowledge indicated were safe. Russian sources said the fleeing convoy was availing of a humanitarian corridor.


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Meanwhile, continuous shelling continues to ruin Mariupol. Drone video footage released by Ukraine Forces last night showed a desolate wasteland of bombed out buildings, many in flames, with smoke pouring in to the sky.

"The city is under continuous shelling and continuous bombing and we have some street battles.

"Yesterday we had an awful day with a lot of bombing, a lot of air strikes with more than 100 bombs. Each bomb destroys several buildings.

"Russian troops continue to do war crimes and continue to destroy civil buildings - kindergartens, schools, hospitals. It is terrible," said Mr Orlov.

He claimed civilians were killed by artillery fire while cooking on an open fire.

"While people do not have access to electricity, water, heating and so on, they prepare food on fires and they were killed by Russian artillery while preparing cooking in their gardens. It's a crazy and awful situation.

"The Ukrainian army continues bravely to defend our city and to protect our city against Russian troops. It is very hard but they continue to do it each day," he said.

Fighting on Mariupol’s streets has made it is difficult for the collection of dead bodies for burial.

"Yesterday our calculation was that we had 2,580 people killed. We continue to bury them. Some of them in mass graves. Some of them are buried in their gardens and parks. It is not possible for people to bury people outside the city so they look for any possibility to bury people in our city.

"We try to collect as much as possible but I know that in some places it takes one day, two days or three to collect bodies," said Mr Orlov.

He called on the international community to provide weapons to protect Mariupol against air strikes.