Hungary: Storm Emergency Plan of Action Final Report DREF n° MDRHU007

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Devastating storm cells hit Eastern Hungary on the afternoon of 27 June 2019, 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. The Hungarian Red Cross immediately started the coordination of the assistance with relevant authorities. According to the assessments, the most affected settlements were 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, when finally electricity has been restored in all affected households. The NDMA indicated that more than 30 families (114 people) were evacuated due to life threatening 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-SzatmárBereg county's government office. Damages have been 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 were 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 response

Overview of Host National Society

Hungarian Red Cross Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county branch started to assess the needs and planning 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 DM Directorate and County Government Office). National Headquarters contacted other charities working in the country (Members of the National Committee of Charities, detailed below) to coordinate the efforts and avoid parallel actions. Local Branch mobilized its current NFI stocks including clothes and furniture to replenish losses occurred in the homes during the first days of the operation, incorporated to the general operation of the County Branch. HRC discussed the situation with main stakeholders and met with the most affected households during the on-site assessments described above. Establishing contact with the families made initial psychosocial support possible and they welcomed the opportunity to talk out their fears and uncertainties. Staff of HRC’s local office and volunteers are also assisting with non-skilled tasks in response activities, eg. clearing roads and cutting branches of fallen trees.