The European Commission's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre has recently been in regular contact with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Hurricane Harvey and any EU support that could help the US authorities. The EU's emergency Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been activated at the request of FEMA and is now providing damage assessment maps for several affected areas in Texas.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: "Our EU emergency centre is giving a helping hand to our American friends as they work tirelessly to deal with the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The EU's emergency mapping service has been put into action and we stand ready to help further in any way we can."
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "The European Union knows very well how devastating natural disasters can be and our thoughts and solidarity are with all the American people affected by this deadly hurricane. The US can count on the European Union as a strong and an historic ally for all our support."
Hurricane HARVEY made landfall on 26 August, 2017 near Rockport (Texas) as a Category 4 Hurricane. It then moved inland, weakening. On 28 August, HARVEY became a Tropical Storm and since it is moving north-east over the Gulf of Mexico towards the south-western Louisiana coast as a Tropical Storm. Very heavy rains, strong winds, storm surge and severe flooding are affecting these areas, especially in and around the city of Houston.
According to media, as of 30 August the death toll has reached 18, more than 3 400 people have been rescued and at least 30 000 people have taken refuge in emergency shelters in the Huston area. Media also reported that three major flood defences have overflown in the same area.
According to national authorities, the government of Texas has issued the State of Disaster Declaration for 58 counties, while Louisiana has declared a state of emergencies.