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Serbia and Montenegro: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2005/0080

OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Serbia & Montenegro
Floods

This situation report is based on information received from the UN agencies, funds and programmes resident in SCG and the Information Centre of the northern Serbian Province of Vojvodina, as well as information obtained from local media.

Situation

1. The emergency situation is being managed by the national disaster response system. Thanks to improved weather conditions, floodwaters are receding in the affected villages. The level of water in Jasa Tomic village as of 7 a.m. of 6 May morning is 524 cm, 4 cm lower than in the past 24 hours. The situation of the Danube-Tisa-Danube canal has also improved.

2. The number of people in the 4 collective centres has decreased to 155. According to preliminary estimates some 600 people have been rendered homeless.

3. Some 120 tons of cattle and other animal carcasses have been disposed of in the town abattoir in Zrenjanin, Vojvodina. Animals that survived the flood have been properly vaccinated and there is no sign of epidemics. The majority of surviving cattle have been sold to processing plants, as there are no places were to keep them.

4. Three schools need urgent repair and to be disinfected. Apart from mid-Banat, the flood brought about the contamination of the water supply in southern Banat; drinking water is provided by means of cisterns and bottled water.

5. Damages to agriculture have been reported as follows:

- In the Municipality of Secanj: Around 1,900 ha of fields have been flooded; sunflower seed is needed in the amount of 2,000 kg, maize seed - 24,000 kg, soy seed - 36,000 kg.

- In the Municipality of Zitiste: Around 1,500 ha flooded; seed needs: sunflower - 2,500 kg, maize - 20,000 kg.

- Municipality of Plandiste: Around 1,600 ha flooded; seed needs: sunflower - 2,500 kg, maize - 8,000 kg, soy - 84,000 kg.

National Response

6. On 30 April, the President to the Executive Council of Vojvodina delivered 150 tons of humanitarian aid to the affected areas in mid-Banat. Assistance was provided by the Reserves of Vojvodina (emergency food supplies), Belgrade City Assembly, Democratic Youth of Vojvodina as well as the private sector. A convoy containing flour, pasta, salt, sugar, oil, bottled water, potatoes, detergents, milk, juice, 15 sacks filled with clothes, as well as hygiene sets, including 100 baby-hygiene sets, as well as 23 tons of stock-feed.

7. Coordination mechanisms with Romania have been established. A joint delegation visited the area flooded in both countries on 5-6 May, and is making a joint localization/evacuation plan. The Council has also suggested that the Defence Ministry of SCG prepares for ratification an agreement with Romania and Hungary that would boost joint disaster management in the future.

8. The process of relocation of population from collective centres, aimed at preventing the outbreak of epidemics, is underway. The area is being monitored daily by the sanitary inspectors and epidemiologists of the Institute for Public Health (IPH) in Zrenjanin, while the IPH in Novi Sad (the capital of Vojvodina) has a coordination role. The quality of drinking water is tested 3 times a week. High levels of arsenic have been detected in the water and the probability is that the water pipes will have to be phased out after the water has withdrawn. Rodents pose a major issue; Belgrade authorities have received a request to help out with their eradication; there is a risk of food contamination and hemorrhagic fever.

9. Proper medical care is also being rendered to the affected population, especially those persons who are situated in collective centres. The equipment used by the IPH in Zrenjanin is 25 years old and the Secretariat of the Executive Council of the Province of Vojvodina has been asked to provide for the laboratories.

10. The Provincial Government is considering the possibility of relieving the primary school pupils from the affected area from the obligation of taking the secondary school entrance exam.

11. People's Office within the Cabinet of the President of Serbia is appealing for the following priority relief needs: waterproof clothes, canned food, hygienic/baby parcels and cash.

In-country International Assistance

12. UNICEF visited the flooded area on 28 April and WHO visited the IPH in Zrenjanin on 4 May. A Flood Relief Task Force (TF) currently consisting of the representatives of FAO, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF and UNHCR was established last week. The Task Force decided on the following:

- Having considered the de facto situation, the TF concluded that the emergency phase is over and that UNCT should look into the rehabilitation needs;

- UNCT will decide on the allocation of 30,000 USD received from OCHA in coordination with the IFRC and the coordination point on the national side;

- Heads of Agencies are advised to organize a meeting with the international donor community in order to discuss the rehabilitation phase, present the situation as perceived by the UNCT and suggest partnerships;

- The TF supports the strengthening of the UNCT's capacities in the area of disaster management.

13. This Situation Report and information on ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. Ricardo Mena, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1455, E-mail: menar@un.org
Ms. Charlotta Benedek, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1205, E-mail: benedek@un.org

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-892 1669

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.