Romania

Romania: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 01/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

Click below for previous flood response in Romania:
http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=141

Click below for related information on floods in Bosnia & Herzegovina:
http://www.ifrc.org/cgi/pdf_appeals.pl?05/05ME038.pdf

The Situation

With the country still recovering from a previous major wave of flooding, heavy rains have caused further flooding and destruction in 8 counties (Arges, Constanta, Giurgiu, Dolj, Gorj, Hundeoar a, Olt and Teleorman).in Romania during the first few days of July, affecting 99 localities. According to official information from the Ministry of the Environment, by 4 July, 07:00 hours local time, 5 people had been killed, one child was missing, 1,702 houses, 4,477 households, 2,992 hectares of agricultural land and 294 wells were damaged. Infrastructure has also been affected, with the damage suffered by three smaller dams exacerbating the scale of the disaster.

The most severely affected counties are Olt and Teleorman in the south of the country. The situation is developing quickly. Information received from the county's crisis management team by the Teleorman Red Cross branch at 09:00 hours on 4 July indicated that some 6,600 people had been evacuated from flooded villages and several other villages were on alert, pending evacuation. According to the branch assessment, one person was killed in the floods, 2 are missing, 2,105 houses and 6,555 households were affected, while water levels are still risin g by 16 cm per hour. Estimates show that 1,200 houses have been destroyed, although information about the extent of the damage has yet to be confirmed.

In Olt County the number of flood victims is estimated by the local RC branch to have reached 4,000, with 800 houses, 1,500 households and 1,006 hectares of agricultural land affected. For the moment 100 people have been evacuated from their home and are sheltered by the authorities in collective centers. Their immediate needs are covered by the authorities and the local Red Cross branch.

In Arges County, where 96 houses, 921 households and 42 wells are affected, the local branch has identified the outstanding needs, requesting support with basic food items. In this county 1 person was killed by the floods and a child is missing.

In the other affected counties , damage is on a smaller scale and the situation is under control, as water levels are receding quickly. However the heavy rains are expected to continue in most of the affected areas for at least 24 hours.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The largest operation has been launched by the Olt branch of the Romanian Red Cross. During the first day of flooding, the branch assisted 98 flood victims, using the entire emergency stock available in its warehouse. It also used a part of the funds available in its disaster response account to purchase mineral water for the affected people, as local wells may be contaminated. In order to meet further needs the branch has requested support from the Targoviste regional disaster relief warehouse through the National Headquarters. Following this request, 200 blankets and one Red Cross tent were immediately dispatched to the affected area.

The RC branch from Teleorman County also requested assistance from the National Headquarters as the growing number of flood victims is far beyond its disaster response capacity. Based on this request, an assessment team from the National Headquarters will be in the area today (5 July) to assess the situation and to plan the response strategy. At this point the National Headquarters is prepared to immediately dispatch relief items to assist up to 1,000 flood victims, depending on the result of this assessment.

In the other affected counties , the situation has been kept under control by the local authorities, and waters are receding quickly. However the local branches are keeping their disaster response teams on standby, prepared to meet the possibly emerging needs using the content of their emergency warehouses. The National Headquar ters is also prepared to immediately respond to any incoming assistance requests from its branches operating in the affected area.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Romanian Red Cross: Radu Lihaci, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator; Telephone: +40 21 317 40 32, +40 21 317 05 59, Fax: + 40 21 312 84 52, email: dezastre@crucearosie.ro and Daniela Uta, PR & Fundraising Coordinator, Telephone: + 40 21 317 05 59, Fax: + 40 21 312 84 52, email: pr@crucearosie.ro

Regiona l Delegation, Slobodanka Curic, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator; email:ifrchu41@ifrc.org, phone: + 387 59 260 383, mobile: + 387 65 665 747

In Geneva: Erja Reinikainen, Federation Desk Officer, Europe Department, Geneva: email: erja.reinikainen@ifrc.org, phone: + 41 22 730 49 20; fax: +41 22 733 03 95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions , please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

Map: Romania Floods