JRC supports EU response to floods in Romania, Ukraine and Moldova
Widespread flooding in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania has triggered a rapid response from the European Commission and EU Member States, who have offered vital assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The assistance includes the provision of boats, pumps, generators, water purification and emergency equipment, while the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has dispatched experts to facilitate the coordination of the relief effort on the ground in Moldova and Ukraine.
Extending his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims of these floods, Commissioner for the Environment and Civil Protection Stavros Dimas pointed out that civil protection is a European concern and that Member States were thus expressing their solidarity by responding generously to the requests for assistance made through the MIC. External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner indicated the Commission's willingness to consider the case for possible EU reconstruction assistance.
The JRC's support
The Joint Research Centre provides forecasts and real-time monitoring of natural phenomena such as floods, earthquakes, forest fires and storms to the MIC. The JRC develops media monitoring tools, collaborative web tools and geographical analysis tools are developed to support European Civil Protection.
The JRC also provides policy support on flood issues, especially focused on cross-border river basins. Besides the work of the development of an early warning system, the European Flood Alert System (EFAS), the JRC has carried out flood mitigation and forecasting case studies in the Elbe and Danube, along with flood risk mapping and information on flash floods and climate change effects in Europe.
Two JRC Institutes - the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen and the Institute for Environment and Sustainabilty - make contributions in this field.
Last week's floods
Heavy rain in the Carpathians last week has brought catastrophic consequences for several countries. The MIC, which has been coordinating the EU's response, has received requests for specific equipment from Romania, the Ukraine and Moldova, and circulated the requests to all Member States' civil protection authorities. Their response has been quick and generous.
The floods have already claimed five lives in Romania and destroyed almost 100 houses. More than 1000 kilometres of road have been affected, and 45 km of dikes have been swamped.
The flooding in Ukraine, which started in the northwest of the country, has now moved to the southwest. Up to 15,000 people are estimated to have been affected, and there are at least 30 dead. The EU's response has included boats, tents and sleeping bags from the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Estonia and Spain.
To Moldova, where More than 7000 people have been evacuated from their homes, the EU has sent a six-man team of experts to the country, and boats, pumps, generators and rubber boots have now been provided by the Czech Republic and Estonia.