Moldova + 2 more

Eastern Europe hit by floods

Large swathes of Eastern Europe, including regions within Ukraine, Romania and Moldova, have been hit by heavy floods, plunging rural communities into vulnerability.

In western Ukraine, more than a thousand houses have been flooded in the regions of Chernivtsy and Ivano-Frankivsk. Some 2,000 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged, together with infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and wells.

Regional branches of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society have started giving assistance to some of the 3,500 people affected, prioritising those who have been evacuated. Staff members and volunteers are helping people find shelter in community buildings and with host families, providing them with clothes, hygiene items and bedding.

Drinking water

The National Society has a cooperation agreement with the Coca-Cola Company, which donated 4,000 litres of drinking water. A request for assistance from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is currently being evaluated at country and zone level.

IFRC representative for Ukraine, Joe Lowry, noted "these regions are essentially still recovering from the massive floods of 2008.

"Fortunately, the local branches are well prepared and have a good working relationship with the local authorities. This allowed them to start helping as soon as the floods hit."

Relief supplies

While the Ukraine Red Cross concentrates on humanitarian relief, local authorities are undertaking evacuations, restoring power supplies and checking flood defences. The Russian Ministry for Emergencies sent two transport planes with relief supplies to Ukraine.

In Romania, the heavy rains, which began on 23 June, have resulted in floods in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country, killing 21 people and affecting more than 12,000 others, and damaging 4,384 households.

The Romanian Red Cross immediately reacted to the disaster, starting providing basic food, water and relief items to 350 families. The National Society is in constant communication with the governmental institution in charge of rescue and protection.

River rising

According to the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Situations of the Republic of Moldova, 198 houses have already been affected. As the Prut river continues to rise, the local Red Cross branch is now distributing humanitarian aid to people in need.

Tatiana Cazacu, director of Moldova Red Cross' Criulen branch, close to the capital Chisinau, reports: "The situation is extremely serious, because the villages around four small lakes are flooding and all the poultry and the small farms have been almost destroyed. We are distributing clothes and hygiene kits to the families."