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.
02/15/2012 11:36 GMT
BUCHAREST, February 15, 2012 (AFP) - Another seven deaths from Romania's wave of bitterly cold weather has brought the toll up to 86, the health ministry said Wednesday, as the country struggled with up to five metres of snow.
The seven deaths came amid a growing row over the authorities' failure to protect vulnerable people trapped in their homes by the heavy snowfalls, which in some cases have completely buried houses.
- 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.
02/13/2012 15:15 GMT
MOSCOW, February 13, 2012 (AFP) - Some 215 Russians have died this year in a prolonged period of abnormally cold winter weather, the health ministry said Monday as the overall death toll for Europe rose to well over 600.
Heavy snow continued to fall on Monday in Romania and Bulgaria, but the cold snap that froze much of Europe for the past two weeks began to ease in the west of the continent.
BUDAPEST, February 10, 2012 (AFP) - Hungary closed the Danube to river traffic Friday due to thick ice, bringing shipping to a near standstill on Europe's busiest waterway, as the continent's cold snap death toll passed 540.
"Shipping was ordered stopped overnight Thursday to Friday because of conditions created by icing along the Hungarian part of the river," Istvan Lang, who heads the national technical supervisory body OMIT said.
"All ships still underway must immediately head for the closest harbour," Lang, quoted by MTI news agency, said.
by Rusmir Smajilhodzic
SARAJEVO, February 8, 2012 (AFP) - Helicopters ferried food and medicine to iced-in villagers Wednesday as Europe's 12-day-old cold snap tightened its frigid grip on the continent, where more than 400 have died as a result.
Eastern countries such as Poland and Ukraine account for more than half of the death toll, and dozens more have succumbed to the weather's secondary effects, such as asphyxiation due to shoddy heating.
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.
02/07/2012 17:20 GMT
BELGRADE, February 7, 2012 (AFP) - Ice-breakers Tuesday battled Europe's big chill as the Danube river froze over more than 100 miles (170 kilometres), and dozens died of cold on a continent gripped by some of the lowest temperatures in decades.
The overall death toll from the cold snap that began 11 days ago edged past 400 while forecasters warned there would be no early let-up to the freezing weather.
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.
WARSAW — A cold snap kept Europe in its icy grip Thursday, pushing the death toll to 163 as countries from Ukraine to Italy struggled with temperatures that plunged to record lows in some places.
Entire villages were cut off in parts of eastern Europe, trapping thousands, while road, air and rail links were severed and gas consumption shot up during what has been the severest winter in decades in some regions.
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.