North Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Extreme winter conditions Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRMK008

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

In the afternoon of 5 January 2016, the western and north-eastern parts of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were hit by a heavy snowstorm. In the evening, the temperatures decreased to 25 Celsius degrees below zero. The mountain passes through Gostivar, Kicevo, Kriva Palanka – Kustendil put a ban on the movement of heavy vehicles, while motor vehicles were moving in difficult conditions due to the icy road conditions.

Specialized vehicles have been working on cleaning the roads from the snow. Many villages were cut off by high snowdrifts and the blocked roads in the regions of Skopje, Bitola, Kriva Palanka, Debar,
Makedonski Brod, Gostivar, Kumanovo, Kichevo, Struga Ohrid and Stip, The Red Cross of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia assisted 255 vulnerable families in these regions. As a result of the cold and freezing temperatures, three people have been reported as dead in Skopje, Strumica and Pehcevo.

Due to increased heavy snowfalls in the villages located in the mountainous regions of the country, the National Society conducted a needs assessment in cooperation with the local self-governments, crisis management center and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. As a result of the needs assessment, 555 families were identified as most vulnerable ones. Part of the settlements in Skopje (Aerodrom), Negotino and Kavadarci were left without water due to frozen or damaged pipes.