GENEVA, 21 February 2012 - The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR, today said the European Flood Alert System could soon be put to its greatest test since widespread flooding ten years ago led to its creation by the European Commission.
The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, said she was particularly concerned about the consequences for those countries bordering the Danube where the ice is now starting to break up in the first signs of a spring thaw.
GENEVA, 20 February 2012 - Europe's vulnerability to disasters and the current tough winter "are a clear sign that we need to plan better and manage more robustly the risks we face," warns European Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, who is responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
ACT Rapid Response Payment Request for US$ 49,846. ACT member AIDRom is planning to respond with distribution of relief food & mineral water, and family hygiene kits.
Emergency: Romanian Authorities Declared State of Emergency After Cold Snap and Severe Snow Fall.
Date of Emergency: 27 January – 15 February 2012 (still ongoing)
Requesting Member(s): Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania - AIDRom
DETAILS OF THE EMERGENCY:
BRATISLAVA/BUCHAREST (February 17, 2012) – Over the last three weeks, a massive cold wave from Russia affected the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe. Parts of Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania recorded the lowest temperatures. At the same time, massive snowfalls hit south-eastern areas of Romania.
- Brief description of the emergency
The arctic conditions have already claimed hundreds of lives around Europe. Conditions in Romania remain tough, and the Central and Eastern Europe region’s plight continues to make international headlines as the worst affected by Europe’s deep freeze. The bad weather hit Romania almost two weeks ago, when it started snowing heavily and temperatures dropped to record lows. Tens of thousands of people have been trapped for more than a week in the Southern and South-Eastern counties because of the excessive amount of snowfall.
CHF 165,927 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Romanian Red Cross in delivering immediate assistance to 800 families (3,200 beneficiaries).
Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
Summary: Extreme cold and excessive snowfall in the past two weeks have caused many problems in the south-eastern regions of Romania. On 10th February, more than 310 villages were reported to be totally isolated because of the snow. Governmental institutions are still working on clearing the roads from snow.
After unusually mild weather in December 2011 and early January 2012 almost all over Europe, the weather situation changed abruptly in the middle of January. An incursion of cold polar air, coming from northern Russia at the south flank of an extensive high pressure area brought extremely low temperatures over large parts of Europe and also some considerable snowfall especially over various parts of the continent.
As harsh winter conditions continue to choke many parts of Eastern Europe, World Vision is responding to keep vulnerable children and families safe in poverty-affected communities where it serves. World Vision Romania operates in seven counties across the country, five of which are heavily affected by the snow and freezing temperatures.
By Irina Ivanova
SOFIA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Heavy snowfall and strong winds across eastern Europe cut off hundreds of villages on Tuesday and rescue teams struggled to evacuate people in southern Bulgaria where rain and melting snow caused a dam wall to break, flooding an entire village.
A river dike also broke under intense water pressure near Kapitan Andreevo at the border with Turkey, officials said.
Read the full report on Alertnet.
Nine Romanian children taken into care
Bus trapped by avalanche in Bosnia
Skaters cross fingers in The Netherlands
Snow closes Rome's Colosseum
Cold claims first life in Albania, France
By Ioana Patran
BUCHAREST, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Nine Romanian children were taken into care after a baby died in an unheated house, joining at least 189 others killed by a Siberian front which strengthened its hold over Eastern Europe on Friday and spread further west.
With temperatures expected to drop below -30 in Eastern and Central Europe this week the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has warned that thousands of homeless people are at risk. Over 80 people have already died in Poland and Ukraine. The sudden cold snap has affected a huge swathe of Europe, from southern Italy to Turkey, and north to Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Russia.
by Giovanni Zambello
The extreme cold wave gripping Central and Eastern Europe continues unabated, with wind, heavy snow and Siberia-level temperatures – in some areas as low as -32 C –has led to the death of over 80 people from hypothermia and frostbite, caused power outages, traffic chaos and seen the closure of schools and nurseries in parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Serbia, Romania and Russia.
The majority of the victims are homeless people, already victims of the prolonged economic crisis.