Serbia

Serbia: Floods Emergency Appeal n° MDRRS009 Operations update n° 2

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This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 4,485,096 to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Red Cross of Serbia in delivering assistance and support to some 12,400 flood-affected families (49,600 people).

As significant needs for ongoing recovery activities still remain, this Operation Update wishes to confirm the need to support the Red Cross of Serbia (RCS) in its activities to help the population affected by the extraordinary floods. The RCS continues to support the ongoing relief and recovery activities.

Summary

Torrential rainfalls began in Serbia on 13 May 2014, with an amount of rain in two days’ time equalling to two months` average rainfall as a result of a low-pressure area that formed over the Adriatic Sea due to polar air from Central Europe meeting with the humid subtropical air of the Mediterranean basin.

The floods and landslides caused 51 casualties, 23 of which were people who drowned. A national state of emergency was declared on 15 May 2014 by the Government of Serbia. Water has either fully withdrawn and/or is retreating.

The people evacuated during the peaks of the high floods have mostly returned to their homes. Currently there are 807 evacuated persons living in 5 collective centres in Belgrade. In addition to this, in other parts of Serbia, 336 evacuated persons are staying mostly in municipality-paid hotel accommodation, while 5,331 persons are still with host families and relatives, not being able to return to their homes yet.
Disinfection and cleaning processes of the houses are in progress. The state of emergency has been lifted nation-wide with the exception of five municipalities: Obrenovac, Mali Zvornik, Krupanj, Bajina Basta and Ljubovija. Floods and landslides caused the total destruction of over 400 housing units while over 17,000 flats and other housing units were partially damaged. The damage in the housing sector is estimated at 227 million EUR. In total 74 health protection facilities including dispensaries, primary health centres and clinics were damaged with furniture and medical supplies destroyed. In the area of education, 35 preschool institutions, primary and secondary schools suffered damage (source: Government of Serbia).

Work has begun to create suitable conditions for the flood evacuees to return to their homes. In Obrenovac, the Government started works for building new houses after the flood waters withdrew from the streets, and field sanitation and disinfection took place. Sewage and water systems and power supply have been restored. However, in most areas water from the pipes is not potable and can be used only for washing and household purposes. The Red Cross branch continues the delivery of food and beverages. There are three distribution points in Obrenovac for residents coming back to the city.

The immediate focus of the RCS is on meeting the affected people's immediate needs. However, planning and implementing have already started to support their recovery as well.