Floods - spring 2006
Heavy floods have been inundating central and eastern Europe
since the end of March due to melting snow and heavy rainfall.
Swollen rivers and floodwaters have caused widespread damage
and forced thousands of people across central and eastern
Europe to leave their homes.
Situation in Austria
level of the River Danube in Austria and of many rivers to
the north of the country was critical over the weekend of
1 April. Some 250 households were affected. Austria also reported
dam failures and the disruption of rail connections. The Austrian
response to the floods included the fire brigade, medical
and paramedical services, the military, police, local authorities
and others. No international assistance was requested.
Situation in Bulgaria
Bulgaria, the floods affected 23 localities. A state of emergency
was declared in seven regions along the Danube. Over 1000
households, a handful of schools and a hospital were had flooded.
The damage also counted some 700km of roads and a total of
over 55,000 hectares of farmland among others. The Bulgarian
authorities undertook a number of actions to mitigate the
effects of the floods. No causalities were reported. Dykes
were watched round the clock while pumping activities and
epidemic prevention measures were undertaken. People in cut-off
villages and all evacuees were provided with drinking water,
food and other necessary commodities. The emergency situation
in the affected regions along the Danube riverbanks was cancelled
on 10 May 2006.
Bulgaria's request for assistance.
gallery for Bulgaria floods
Situation in the Czech Republic
A state of emergency was declared for the whole area of the
South Moravian department and consequently came into force
in parts of the following departments: South Czech, Middle
Czech, Olomouc, Pardubice, Ústí and Zlín. Five towns were
evacuated. Some 4200 persons had to leave their homes. Five
people were confirmed dead. Flood emergency situations were
announced by half of the country's 14 regional authorities.
No international assistance was requested.
here to view satellite images of the floods in the Czech
Situation in Germany
In Germany a state of emergency was declared in five communities
and about 1000 people were evacuated from Dresden and Meissen.
Affected regions along the Elbe River included Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
Niedersachsen Brandenburg and Sachsen Anhalt. Water levels
were expected to be higher than in 2002 and to remain high
for several days. No international assistance was requested.
here to view satellite images of the floods in Germany.
Situation in Hungary
An emergency situation was declared in Hungary on 3 April
2006. The Hungarian authorities took the necessary preparedness
measures. The level of the River Danube rose to 861cm in the
early hours of 5 April. This is the third highest level ever
recorded (867cm in 1876 and 848 cm in 2002). The two isles
of the River Danube were closed. A shipping embargo was enforced
all over the Hungarian section of the Danube. Waters began
to subside by 23 April.
Hungary reported that its second largest river, the Tisza,
reached a record level of 9.8 metres on 18 April, threatening
some 160,000 people and over 50,000 homes. The Hungarian government
extended a flood emergency to Hungary's three Koros rivers
to the southeast of the country.
Disaster management, civil protection, water management, police
agencies, fire-brigades, local governments were taking part
in the emergency operations involving almost 23,000 people.
request for assistance.
Situation in Poland
Heavy rain flooded some 23,000 hectares in Poland, mainly
comprising meadows, forests and agricultural areas situated
along rivers. A small amount of people were evacuated. 250
fire units were involved in the overall response. No international
assistance was requested.
Situation in Romania
The increase of the Danube's level in Romania flooded
12 counties. As of 5 May, over 5,000 households were damaged,
had collapsed or flooded. The damage also counted some 500km
of roads; around 255 bridges and a total of over 80,000 hectares
of farmland and grazing fields. Romanian officials said the
Danube reached double its average volume for this time of
year, flowing at a record 15,900 cubic meters/second. Over
15,000 people were evacuated from their homes.
Romania's request for assistance.
Situation in Slovakia
Two people died in Slovakia where river levels were initially
critical. The risk appeared to ease off after some days. Nevertheless,
a state of emergency was declared on 1 April at Trtice in
the south-west of the country after the Cierna Voda River
reached a dangerous level. The central and western regions
of the Slovak Republic were also affected. Preventive measures
were taken to avoid large-scale floods, with the situation
stabilising itself following 4 April. Slovakia's
request for assistance.
Request for and provision of assistance
The MIC had been monitoring the situation as of 30 March
2006. It was in constant dialogue with the countries potentially
Bulgaria requested assistance through the mechanism
on 25 April 2006. The original request for assistance included
high capacity pumps and hoses; draining equipment for flooded
dwellings; disinfectants, anti-mould latex and sandbags. Bulgaria
received sandbags from Austria, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia.
Belgium provided a pumping module which includes 2 specialised
pumps and a 10-person team. A MIC liaison officer was selected
from the team. The request for assistance was closed on 10
Romania requested assistance on 21 April 2006. It
required high and medium capacity water pumps, boats, water
purification units, waterproof suits, life vests, waterproof
coats, disinfectants and sandbags. Offers poured in that same
afternoon. Within a couple of days, sandbags were provided
by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia. A number of vaccines
for various diseases and disinfectants were supplied by Belgium
and Germany. Pumps were supplied by Austria and Slovakia.
Electrical equipment and power generators were provided by
Austria, Slovakia and Sweden. The Netherlands made a financial
contribution, while Slovakia also offered waterproof gear.
Romania closed its request for assistance on 19 May.
Hungary requested assistance through the Community
Mechanism for Civil protection on 7 April 2006. It requested
sandbags, rain gear, rubber boots and spades. Within a few
hours, offers of assistance were already pouring in. With
a day or two Austria, Slovenia and Romania despatched sandbags.
Sweden and Romania sent spades, rain gear and rubber boots.
The request for assistance was closed on 10 April.
Slovakia requested assistance through the Community
Mechanism for Civil protection on 3 April 2006. The request
consisted of sandbags, needed to stop the advancing river
waters. These were provided within hours of the request by
Austria, Germany and Poland. The operation was closed on the
Working through the mechanism ensured among others that all
states were aware of the assistance being sent to the
countries in need. It also eased the flow of information on
each country's emergency, thus increasing the effectiveness
of response to the floodwaters. From the start of the emergency,
it had already liaised with Member States on the availability
of their pumps should they be needed. In addition, the
Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania asked the European Commission's
Information Centre (MIC) to provide satellite images through
International Charter (Space and Major Disasters). To
view these images, click on the following - Czech
gallery for Bulgaria floods