Description of the disaster
The heavy rainfall affected the western part of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the late evening hours on 3 August 2015. The heavy rain resulted in the overflow of the water from 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. Based on the data obtained from the initial assessment, about 5,000 people were directly affected by the impact of the flash flood and mud slides.
The affected people were evacuated from the flooded villages until the houses were rehabilitated and made adequate for living. Unfortunately, the heavy floods caused the death of six persons. This disaster was probably the second biggest for the region after the disastrous earthquake that struck Macedonia in 1963. 30 persons were provided with medical care as a result of the injuries that they suffered during the storm. One person was declared missing. In some places, the mudflat in the affected mountain villages was up to three meters in height.
The Red Cross teams immediately responded and visited the affected villages and the city of Tetovo which was under water and debris. The village of Shipkovica was left without electricity for several weeks and potable water for a period of one month. The Red Cross immediately provided support in food and water for the affected population in Shipkovica. The region was also visited by the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other state officials. The personnel from the protection and Rescue Directorate worked actively to clean the affected terrain from debris and mud. The initial results indicated that there was a lot of dead cattle and totally ruined fields in the villages. The clearing of the villages from the debris was difficult task since these are mountainous villages where access for heavy vehicles is impossible.
In view of the impact of the disaster, the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia declared emergency situation in the region of Tetovo and established Crisis Management HQ which met every day with the purpose of coordinating the emergency response efforts and for assessing the accomplished results. The Crisis Management HQ was 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 Red Cross of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.)