Bulgaria

Bulgaria: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 01/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

Related reports on flooding in Romania and Bosnia & Herzegovina have recently been released by the Federation. They can be found on the Federation's Europe web page: http://www.ifrc.org/where /europe.asp

The Situation

Due to the heavy rains and storms during the period 2-4 July 2005, the regions of Veliko Tarnovo, Targovishte, Shoumen, Rousse, in the north of Bulgaria and Stara Zagora, Haskovo and Burgas regions in the south/south-east of the country, have once again been affected by floods.

A state of emergency was declared in the municipalities of Rousse, Dve Mogili, Targovishte and Popovo and Shoumen regions. The water level of the Vit, Osam, Baniska and Jantra rivers has rapidly increased - 3 to 5 meters over the normal level - which has damaged roads, railways, electro and water supply systems, telecommunications, as well as individual property (flooded basements, houses and farms). The railway lines connecting Sofia with the northern part of the country - Targovishte ,Shoumen and Varna - are flooded and trains are not functioning. During the night of 3 July 2005, all passengers were evacuated by bus.

By 4 July, more then 2200 houses in the affected regions were still flooded, 42 houses are reported to have been destroyed.

The State Agency Civil Protection, fire brigade, police and other disaster partners have been coordinating disaster response activities. Since the beginning of the alert, 2 July 2005 at 03.50 AM, the Bulgarian Red Cross has been involved in the operation. Daily contact with the Crisis Management Centre on municipal, regional and national level was established. The regional branches of the Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) have also been involved in direct response during the emergency phase. The Regional Crisis Management Centers continue to provide updated figures to the Bulgarian Red Cross.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Immediate Response:

From the inter-regional warehouse of the Bulgarian Red Cross, in Pirgovo, Rousse regional branch of the Bulgarian Red Cross distributed bed linen, mattresses, shoes, clothes and blankets to the most affected villages in Rousse region: Baniska (which was hit by floods for the second time in 20 days), Koprivec, Drjanovec and others. The most affected people also received food assistance - 70 people received basic food items.

Targovishte region:

The whole region was hit by severe flooding on 3 July. During the night, the city of Targovishte and other municipalities in the region were flooded and blocked (Popovo municipality).

The Red Cross Targovishte has started distribution of clothes, rubber boots, rain coats and blankets from its small stock. By the morning of 4 July almost all the stocks were empty. A request for support with additional relief items was sent to the DP/DR department of the national society headquarters.

On 5 July 2005, a BRC truck with 700 blankets, 20 bales of clothes, 700 pieces of canned soup, pasta and 20 dehumidity dryers reached the affected municipalities in Targovishte region.

Shoumen region:

A state of emergency is still in place covering the whole region. There are 23 houses reported collapsed, people have been evacuated from their homes and accommodated in collective centers. The RC Shoumen worked throughout the night to distribute relief items. On 5 July, additional support from inter -regional warehouse Dobrich was delivered- mattresses, blankets, bed linen, and bales of clothes. Using its own financial resources, the RC purchased food items for the most affected people.

The national society headquarters has received requests for assistance from Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Veliko Tarnovo and Burgas regions.

By 6 July the BRC had distributed the following assistance:

1200 blankets
70 bales of clothes x 50 persons each
250 bed linen sets
40 beds /camping type/
100 mattresses
420 food items/food parcels/
30 dehumidifiers

Needs

The outstanding needs are:

Rubber boots -1000
Blankets - 3000
Bed linen - 3000

If the situation continues to worsen, the BRC emergency stocks will reach a critical limit.

As the relief goods have been distributed from the BRC's DP stock, there is a need for replenishment of at least a part of them. In order to organize the emergency response, the Bulgarian Red Cross, through its local branches, has identified the most vulnerable of the affected population. Detailed information from BRC branch assessment teams will be available by the 8 July.

Media

The BRC operation has been covered by local and national media.

On 5 July 2005, BRC launched an appeal to the population through the National TV and National Radio and opened a special bank account for flood victims in Bulgaria.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Bulgaria: Bulgarian Red Cross, Jassen Slivensky, Disaster Management Coordinator, email: j.slivensky@redcross.bg, phone: +359 281 64898

In Regional Delegation: Slobodanka Curic, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator, email: ifrchu41@ifrc.org, phone: +387 65 665 747,

In Geneva: Erja Reinikainen, Regional Officer, Europe Department, Phone:+41 22 730 43 19, Fax:+41 22 733 03 95, Email:,Erja.Reinikainen@ifrc.org

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (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-term 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 countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

MAP: Bulgaria Floods