Serbia + 14 more

EU assistance underway for flood victims in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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17/05/2014 - The European Union is providing coordinated assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism which has been activated upon the request of Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina due to the severe flooding in the two countries. In less than a day and a half following the request, a total of 14 EU Member States offered assistance.

Bulgaria, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are deploying rescue boats, high capacity pumps and operational teams to Serbia.

Slovenia, Austria, Luxembourg, the UK, Slovakia, Belgium and Germany responded to the request of Bosnia & Herzegovina for helicopters and a number of motor boats to support the evacuation of residents and for the transportation water, medicines and food.

The assistance to the two countries is underway.

A seven-member EU Civil Protection Team is being deployed to Serbia today to liaise with national authorities and the EU Delegation in the country, and to facilitate the delivery of the incoming assistance. An EU team of civil protection experts is foreseen to be deployed to Bosnia & Herzegovina tomorrow.

On Saturday, 17 May in the morning, Bosnia & Herzegovina requested the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for additional assistance as the situation in the country is getting more critical. The Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) has immediately communicated Bosnia & Herzegovina’s need for pumps, generators, tents, humidity dryers, water purification sets, gas heaters for tents, and sanitation items to the Member States.

Background

Due to continuous rainfall that started on 13 May 2014 in Serbia and in Bosnia & Herzegovina, thousands of people have been affected by floods.

As of 17 May the water in Bosnia and Herzegovina is slowly declining, but the situation remains still complex due to numerous landslides, causing house collapsing and road damages. State and local authorities are engaged in ongoing evacuation efforts. More than 6 000 people have been evacuated so far. It is estimated that over 50 000 people may be affected by floods and landslides.

In Serbia, at least five people have died after the equivalent of four month’s rainfall fell in just one day. More than 6 000 people have been displaced and 300 000 homes are without electricity. Many towns and villages are completely cut off and emergency services are working around the clock to rescue people.