OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Wind Storms - Slovak Republic
Occurred on 19 November 2004
This report is based on information provided by the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations in Geneva and by the Government of the Slovak Republic
1. On the evening of Friday 19 November 2004 Slovakia was hit by a major hurricane. The hurricane caused extensive damages all over the country, with the most severe devastation occurring in the High Tatras National Park.
2. According to reports received from the Slovak Government the hurricane killed 2 people, injured several dozens and completely destroyed a strip of forest 60 km long and 3 km wide, causing extensive damage in flora and fauna, transport infrastructure, public utilities and buildings as well as in private property. Several hundred patients in sanatoriums, most of them children, suffer from lack of electricity, heating and water.
3. According to the Slovak Government, 200 persons are still trapped in the area of the devastated woods and though some persons have been rescued by helicopter heavy snowfall during the nigh to the 24 November has rendered rescue operations impossible. Road and rail transport means cannot reach the affected populations. There is lack of electricity, heating, water supply and appropriate rescue equipment.
4. The Slovak authorities are also warning of risks for infestation of pests, secondary floods, erosions and undesirable dewatering as well as a total destruction of the alpine climate.
5.The Government of the Slovak Republic has made an official request to OCHA to provide emergency financial assistance to support national relief efforts. OCHA has released from its emergency response fund USD 50,000 for the local purchase of relief items to assist the victims of the disaster.
6.OCHA remains in close contact with the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations and with the Slovak Government and will continue reporting as further information is received.
7.This Situation Report and information on ongoing emergencies is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.
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