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The Balkan Floods: Information Bulletin 1

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Situation Update
Heavy rains hammered the Balkans states since 13 May 2014, causing large scale flooding and subsequent landslides in the following days. Although some water has been receded, the flood situation continues in larger parts of both Serbia, as well Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is an estimated of 350,000 people were left without water or electricity supply among these two states.

Considered as the worst floods in more than a century, state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in 14 municipalities, including those in the capital city Sarajevo. Cities like Maglaj and Doboj were almost submerged completely, and road access to some of the main cities has been blocked. A vast number of landslides have worsened the situation and putting relief efforts at stake. It is estimated that over 100,000 people are affected by floods and landslides.

In Serbia, near the town of Obrenovac, around 10,000 people are still stranded. Obrenovac is on the other hand home of the biggest power plant in Serbia, the consequent of it to be flooded might cause abruption of power supply to large parts of the country.

Red Cross Actions
The Red Cross of Serbia, as well the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) have been actively engaged in rescue and relief operation since the flooding situation began.

In Serbia, the Red Cross has mobilized 420 staff and volunteers to assist evacuation process in Valjevo and Lazarevac. 820 blankets, 130 rubber boots and 4,430 meat cans have already been distributed in the affected municipalities.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, RCSBiH staff and volunteers are assisting authorities with evacuations as well as providing blankets, mattresses, drinking water, food, hygiene kits, rubber boots and water disinfectants to more than 10,000 people. In Brcko District, the Red Cross teams assisted putting sand banks along the River Sava as an effort to fight with the rising water level and to prevent the flood waters entering dozens of villages. These actions are ongoing, Red Cross staff and volunteers are working around the clock to assist the affected population.

International Red Cross is working closely with both National Societies, providing technical support on logistics, as well mobilized approximately HKD2.9 million from its disaster response emergency fund to support RCSBiH in providing basic food and non-food items for 2,000 families. The immediate focus is on relief, however planning has already started for recovery and rehabilitation. Assessment is ongoing and further international assistance will be considered if the situation continues.

Hong Kong Red Cross Actions
In coordination with the International Red Cross, the Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) is closely monitoring the situation in Serbia, as well Bosnia and Herzegovina .

General Enquiry
Please call 2802-0016, fax to 2802-0017 or email to relief@redcross.org.hk.