Albania : Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRAL005

A. Situation analysis Description of the disaster

Due to the heavy rainfalls in recent days, which varied between 160 and 200 mm in three days equalling to a normal monthly ratio, the southern and south-eastern parts of Albania have been hit by major floods, leading to the evacuation of some 850 families from their houses since Sunday, 1st February 2015 up to date.

The situation in Vlora and Fier, Berat, Elbasan and Gjirokaster districts is becoming increasingly critical. The heavy rains going on uninterrupted for almost five days have increased the levels of the Vjosa, Devoll, Osum and Seman rivers which have inundated their banks and caused huge flooding in several areas endangering also some major national highways. The rise of the rivers is threatening the nearby communes and villages especially in Levan, Darzeze, Fitore, Poro, Delisuf, Akerni, Novosele, Docove, Frakull, Bishan, Mifol, Ferras and UraVajgurore.

The Albanian Government has mobilized the State Police, the Military Units, and the Emergency Teams which are assisting the affected families in high-risk areas, especially in the evacuation of people and livestock, mostly to relatives and friends. Food packages and bottled water are being distributed to the most vulnerable families with the support of private companies. The Albanian Government is preparing to declare a state of emergency for the worst affected areas.

According to the preliminary information provided by the Red Cross branches operating in the flooded areas, the affected families have lost their winter food reserves and their livestock as well as their home furniture and electro- domestic devices. So far, there is no need for Family Restoring Links services as the evacuated families are sheltered mostly with their relatives.

Some power stations and water supply stations are reported as inundated. So many of the affected areas have no power and drinking water, which increases the level of vulnerability of many families. The local authorities are in charge of providing safe water to the residents.

According to the preliminary data received from Emergency Commission and the Albanian local authorities, this is a list of evacuations and material damages.

  • The updates show some 42,000 people affected in all the flooded areas; in Vlora 15,800, Fier 20,000, Berat, Elbasan, and Gjirokaster in total 6,100 people, respectively.

  • 850 families have been evacuated so far.

  • Around 2,000 houses are surrounded by water, most of them already flooded and seriously damaged in the areas of Vlore 750 houses, in Fier 720, in Berat180, in Elbasan 260 and in Gjirokaster 90 houses.

  • Around 3,500 heads of livestock killed; around 6,000 animals have been evacuated.

  • An area of 17,000 acres of farm land is flooded: in the areas of Vlora 8,000 acres, Fier 7,000 acres, Berat 1,000 acres, Elbasan 600 acres, Gjirokastra 400 acres.

The State Police urged all citizens who were planning to travel to the south to cancel any movement, Furthermore, many bridges are destroyed thereby preventing traffic on the main communication routes. Emergency evacuations are continuing by military units, following the water levels` rise.