A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Devastating storm cells hit Eastern Hungary on 27 June afternoon, leaving 80 settlements affected by damages caused by strong wind and heavy rainfall. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 2,560 rooftops (160 public and 2,400 private properties) were damaged. Hungarian Red Cross immediately started the coordination of the assistance with relevant authorities. According to the ongoing assessment, the most affected settlements are Pusztadobos, Nyírkarász, and the town of Nyírmada, where 80 per cent of private homes suffered damages.
Trees fell on electrical aerial cables and caused blackouts in 93 settlements leaving more than 50,000 households without electricity for two or more days. To date, electricity has been restored in all affected households. The NDMA indicates that more than 30 families (114 people) were evacuated due to lifethreatening structural damages, all of whom have been sheltered in municipal homes or at relatives and have not been able to return to their homes. In total, 2,400 households suffered damages (approx. 7,200 people) with the scale of damage on a wide spectrum.
The Hungarian Government officially requested assistance from the National Society through the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county's government office. Damages are being reported continuously by citizens to the municipalities, the registration of the number of affected households and population is coordinated by the Authorities. Hungarian Red Cross county branch staff and volunteers are on the scene and coordinating with local and central authorities to identify the most affected and vulnerable people to work with. The region affected is challenged with multidimensional poverty, many households face poverty due to low income.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society
Hungarian Red Cross (HRC) Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county branch started to assess the needs and plan the RC response immediately after the disaster. The county branch coordinated the assessment with the local and central authorities (municipalities and central governmental agencies – County Disaster Management Directorate and County Government Office). National Headquarters contacted other charities working in the country to coordinate the efforts and avoid parallel actions. Local Branch mobilized its current household item stocks including clothes for all age groups and seasons from local in-kind donations, as well as furniture offered by local donors to replenish losses occurred in the homes. HRC can mobilize clothes from its current stock to meet needs. During assessment visits, branch staff discussed the situation with main stakeholders and met with the most affected households. Establishing contact with the families made initial psychosocial support possible: people welcomed the opportunity to talk about their fears and uncertainties. Staff of HRC’s local office and volunteers are also assisting with non-skilled tasks in response activities, e.g. clearing roads and cutting branches of fallen trees. HRC RDRT trained volunteers are assisting the assessment and planning activities. In the last days, HRC volunteers worked with communities on manual tasks related to wood chipping and debris removal. Roads and infrastructure have been cleared by now, and there are no security-related issues.
Hungarian RC is the largest civil society organisation in the country with 55,000 members, and a main partner for Disaster Management authorities. In the last ten years, the HRC was involved in all disaster situations in the country both during response and recovery actions. The National Society DM department implemented Emergency Plan of Actions with DREF and EA assistance in the recent years responding to floods, blizzards, population movement and (hail) storm damages.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country
The IFRC’s Regional Office for Europe is located in Budapest, Hungary, in close proximity to the National Society’s Headquarters. IFRC personnel is supporting the National Society with technical guidance.
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country
The National Directorate General for Disaster Management coordinates the technical rescue activities: firefighters responded immediately after the storm hit the region to more than 1,500 calls related to the event. Professional and volunteer firefighters arrived at the affected area from all over the country, and fire brigades from neighbouring countries also mobilized their assets to work on clearing trees and restoring infrastructure. Local authorities and municipalities are working to collect information on the damaged households.
According to the coordination with other charities in the country, other civil society organisations (Maltese, Caritas and Hungarian Reformed Church Aid) are also assessing the situation in hand, started to collect donations and might mobilize their available assets to assist the affected population. However, the immediate support to be expected by the donations is very limited. HRC County Branch director met with local representatives, while NHQ is in contact with other organisations to avoid parallel actions. DM coordinators of Maltese and Caritas agreed to coordinate their actions with HRC, cooperation with Hungarian Reformed Church Aid has been proposed, coordination meeting will take place early in the week beginning with 8 July.