Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Flash Floods and Mud Slides Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRMK006

A. Situation analysis Description of the disaster

The heavy rainfall affected the western part of Macedonia in the late evening hours on 3 August 2015. The heavy rain resulted in the overflow of the water from the river Pena in the city of Tetovo. The heavy rains were disastrous for the mountain villages of Shipkovica (2,826 residents), Dzepciste (4,051 residents), Mala Rechica (8,353 residents), Golema Rechica (1,659 residents) and Poroj (2,677 residents) and the city of Tetovo (65,000 residents).

The mountain villages were affected also by landslides caused by the heavy rain. On the basis of the data obtained from the assessment, approximately 5,000 people in the region were somehow affected by the impact of the flash flood and mud slides. The affected population was evacuated from the flooded villages until the houses are rehabilitated and become suitable for living again.

The heavy floods unfortunately resulted in the death of six persons, and this disaster is probably the second biggest for the region after the disastrous earthquake that struck Macedonia in 1963. Thirty persons have been provided with medical care as a result of the injuries that they suffered during the storm. One person is declared missing. In some places the mud layer in the affected mountain villages is up to 3 meters thick. The whole city of Tetovo was under water and debris.

The Red Cross teams immediately responded and visited the affected villages and the city of Tetovo. The village of Shipkovica still has power cuts, and the water in the affected region is not potable. The Red Cross immediately provided food support for the affected population in Shipkovica.
The region was also visited by the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, and other high ranking state officials. The personnel from the protection and Rescue Directorate is working actively to clean the affected terrain from debris and mud. The initial results indicate that there are a lot of carcasses of dead cattle and totally ruined fields in the villages. The cleaning of the villages from the debris is difficult since these are mountainous villages where the access for heavy vehicles is impossible.

As a result of the impact of the disaster on the region, the Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declared a local emergency situation in the region of Tetovo and established a Crisis Management HQ which meets every day for the purpose of coordination of the emergency response efforts and for assessing the accomplished results. The Crisis Management HQ is comprised of different state agencies and institutions (Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Ministry of Ecology, Ministry of Health, Protection and Rescue Directorate, Centre for Crisis Management, Municipality of Tetovo and the Red Cross Society of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. As of 18 August, the National Crisis Management HQ still meets every day in Tetovo to discuss the undertaken daily activities. The Government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has scheduled a session of the Government for 19 August to evaluate the response progress in the affected region.