Central Europe: Floods Information Bulletin No. 02/2006
This Bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the situation and the information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.
The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to achieve the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".
Global Agenda Goals:
- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.
- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.
- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.
- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.
Over the past twenty days, the region of Central Europe has been hit by seasonal flooding- a result ofrap id rises in temperature, melting winter snows and heavy rainfall.
In Poland flooding has affected mainly farmland- agricultural and grazing land. There were no reports of evacuation of people from houses in the affected areas.
In the Czech Republic the gradual melting of snow, together with heavy rainfall and high winds, has swollen streams and rivers. Damage assessments are on going. Several hundred people were evacuated from their homes in risky or affected areas. There are reports of hundreds of damaged houses, most of the damage has been to household equipment.
The Czech government has earmarked CHF 21.8 million to help those affected by the floods. The government has also adopted a notice concerning social benefits for vulnerable people affected by the flood.
Heavy rains and melting snow in Slovakia have also led to flooding over the past three weeks. Although the situation has not been as dramatic as in neighbouring Czech Republic, areas in the east and west of the country have been affected. The levels of water in the affected areas and rivers are now decreasing.
In the capital Budapest, a state of emergency was declared on Monday 3 April. The river Danube had risen more than ten centimetres overnight and crested at 861centimetres. The river level has exceeded the level reached in 2002 during the major floods. Flood alerts are also in place along 3,800 kilometres representing three-quarters of all Hungary's waterways, and the highest, third-degree alert has been ordered along 1,012 kilometres, including the Danube section at Budapest. Many of Hungary's rivers crested on 4 April but are expected to remain at high levels for a longer period.
There could be more floods caused by the river Tisa.
During the period 10-13 April, the water level of Danube River has been rising to critical level in the north-west part of Bulgaria. Since 12 April, the Bulgarian Red Cross Crisis Management Team at the National HQ, activated the response system and is monitoring the situation. At the moment the situation is most critical in Vidin region, where a state of emergency was proclaimed.
The water level on 13 April was 939 cm and the prognosis says that it will continue to rise. According to the Regional Plan for Disaster Accident and Catastrophes (floods section) when the water level reaches 950 cm there is a plan for evacuation of the population. The Bulgarian RC in Vidin is part of the National response system at Regional/ Municipal Level.
The Mayor of Vid in has ordered the patients in the town's hospital and maternity hospital to be prepared for evacuation. According to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters, the water level of the Danube River at the town of Vidin will reach 990 cm by Wednesday, 19 April. By order of the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic notes were urgently sent to the Governments of Romania and Serbia and Montenegro, asking for cooperation and measures to be taken to restrict discharge of water from the Zhelezni Vrata dam in the following days and to supply enough information on the amount of water expected to be discharged. Also, meetings were held with the Ambassadors of the two countries in the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the problem.
Based on expectations and experiences from other European countries affected by flooding, Croatian Directorate for Protection and Rescue together with the State organization for water management in the beginning of April started to prepare all organizations and institutions for adequate response, with the highest waterl evel expected to come on 7 April.
Crises management HQ was formed in the area, in charge of monitoring development of the situation and responding to threats and needs of communities.
On 7 April the highest level of alert was declared and special forces were sent to the most risky areas. More than 1,000 persons were involved in different activities to prevent flooding of inhabited areas. As a result of these activities more than 1.5 km of dikes were built, using around 111,000 send bags.
All the activities to prevent flooding of inhabited areas were successful and only part of one village in Vukovar area was flooded and a small area with weekend houses near Osijek. People in Budzak (Vukovar area) refused evacuation and decided to remain in their homes even when basement and ground floors became flooded. The same situation happened in village Karasica near Osijek, where 50 people refused to leave their houses. Situation is calming now and it seems that theh igh water levels will endw ithout serious consequences.
Serbia and Montenegro
Due to the heavy rain, flooding and uncontrolled deforestation in the last several years, landslides occurred on the territory of several municipalities in Serbia in the last few weeks. At the moment, 19 municipalities all over Serbia plus two municipalities in Belgrade are affected to different extent by floods and landslides.
The most serious situation is still in th e village of Bogdanje in the municipality of Trstenik. Around 130 houses are damaged, with more than 200 citizens already evacuated and temporarily accommodated with relatives, mostly in the city of Trstenik. The representatives of the Government of Serbia visited the region and the Prime Minister promised that all families whose houses were affected by these landslides would get the new houses. The building of the first 20 houses started on Monday, 27 March. The government prepared approximately CHF 350,000 for assistance in counter-floods measures.
So far, a state of emergency has been proclaimed in five municipalities: Loznica, Beocin, Zabalj, Titel and Zrenjanin. The problem with underground waters is high in Banat and Vovodina. The most vulnerable is Secanj municipality. Some 1,082 houses in five villages are in danger and prepared for evacuation. The flooding in other municipalities is mostly to agricultural soil definitely affecting the crops.
Since the beginning of April the water level of several rivers in Serbia has been on the constant rise. On 13 April, the water in the river Danube reached the highest level ever recorder: 760 cm. This means that the northern parts of Serbia, in Vojvodina region are now endangered. The most serious situation is in municipalities of Beocin and Slankamen where up to 100 families have been evacuated so far, with water flooding some of the fields, some houses and, notably, the hospital in Slankamen. The situation is also critical in the village Mosorin, in the municipality of Titel where the river Tisa is threatening 3,800 inhabitants. The second ring of defence system has just been established and the evacuation initiated, starting with cattle. In the municipality of Zrenjanin at least two villages are also in danger.
In Belgrade, the capital, the municipality of Cukarica has suffered flooding from the river Sava. About 1,000 people arer eady to be evacuated and accommodated in temporary shelters (five schools). The evacuation from the most critical spot (Ada Ciganlija) started in the night between 13 and 14 April. At the same time the municipality of Zemun was also affected by floods caused by the river Danube. Thirty families were evacuated and are residing in private accommodation.
The Danube is also endangering municipalities downstream from Belgra de. In Smederevo, Veliko Gradiste and Pozarevac there is 24 hour work on reinforcing the existing dike system. Three hundred seventy houses in the municipality of Pozarevac and two hundred houses in the municipality of Smederevo have been flooded and thirty families have been evacuated, now residing in private accommodation. An additional 19 people have been evacuated and accommodated in the Red Cross Home in Mala Krsna.
The area in northern Banat that suffered heavy floods in 2005 is again potentially endangered with the level of the river Tamis rising and the flood wave expecting to arrive from Romania on 15 and 16 April. The predictions are that last year's water level of 884 mm could be reached and even surpassed.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
- In Regional Delegation for Central Europe: Slobodanka Curic, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator), email@example.com, + 387 65665747,
- In Geneva: Ms Erja Reinikainen, Federation Regional Officer, Europe Department, firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +41 22 730 4319; fax +41 22 730 03 95
All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.
For longer-te rm programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countrie s, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org
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