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Firefighters rescuing residents from flooding in Slovenia. Photo credit: Fire service of Mengeš.
07 Aug 2023

Deadly flooding in Slovenia and Georgia - Slovenia request international help - massive hailstorm in Germany

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Six people or more are dead and thousands are being forced to evacuate their homes in Slovenia due to heavy rains leading to landslides and flooding. 11 people are dead due to flooding in Georgia. 250 firefighters were called in to deal with a massive hail storm in Germany. 

 

Photo Credit:  (Cover photo above)  Firefighters from the fire service of Mengeš in Slovenia rescues residents from a flooded home. Photo provided by the fire service of Mengeš.
 
Photo gallery below courtesy of  the archive of the Volunteer Fire Department of Slovenia, made available for publication through the Slovenian Fire Service Association. 

 

UPDATED August 7

THIS TEXT WILL BE UPDATED - and also more about world flooding events will come. 

 

Several more flooding disasters have recently occured in the world in a relatively short time span, which CTIF.org will report about soon. One included an emergency declaration in Alaska after a glacier has collapsed and created flooding near  the state capital of Juneau. 
The Mendenhall Glacier, located about 12 miles north of Alaska's state capital.,  breaking off and collapsing has thoroughly surprised local scientists: 
 
"On the FEMA scale, there was less than a 1% chance of that level of flooding occurring", National Weather Service Juneau hydrologist Aaron Jacobs said. "We didn’t even think that this was possible".

 

 

Slovenia calls for international help

Slovenia has called for assistance and equipment from partners in the EU and NATO after a weekend of heavy summer rains and flash floods described by the PM as country’s worst natural disaster of this kind, reports AMP.dw.com. 

Thousands of people had to evacuate their homes and many needed help by rescue teams to move to safer locations through helicopters and boats. Slovenia urged the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide it with 30 elevators and 30 special vehicles to regulate watercourses. It also called for dispatching engineering team to man the equipment.

Slovenia also asked the EU and NATO for 30 prefabricated bridges of up to 40 meters each. heavy machinery for debris removal, engineering teams and provisional road transportability. 

Croatia has provided assistance with the deployment of “a military helicopter to help close and secure a broken levee on the Mura River and to help reinforce its embankments,” a statement added.

“Help from other countries is still expected to arrive. The assistance is being coordinated through the Administration of the Republic of Slovenia for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, which is in constant contact with the two aid coordination centres in Brussels,” the statement also said.

NATO was also requested to provide five heavy military helicopters with at least five tons of load capacity, and 200 soldiers for protection, rescue and relief tasks.

 

Damages worth half a billion Euros

Prime Minister Robert Golob reportedly said the floods have caused  property damage amounting to USD $550 million (about €500 million). 

"This is the worst natural disaster in Slovenia's [recent] history, it has affected two-thirds of the country," he said on Saturday after attending the National Security Council meeting.

 

Death toll rises to six

A  government spokesperson  reportedly told CNN on Monday that the flooding disaster has killed at least six people, whereas the official number of dead on the weekend was four. 

“There’s incredible damage around the country, ” the Environmental agency spokesperson said Monday, after confirming that a month’s worth of rain fell in less than a day.

The heavy rainfall has caused widespread damage leading to the collapse of at least three bridges , impacted roads and also the energy infrastructure in the country. 

From the six causalties to date, two were reportedly Dutch mountain climbers who died in the mountains near Kranj on Friday. At least five Dutch citizens have been missing amid extreme weather conditions, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said.

In southern Austria, flash floods also  killed one person. About 80 more people needed to be evacuated in the southern Carinthia province.

 

The Slovenian Press Service is reporting continuously about the flooding situation in Slovenia:

The situation is somewhat improving as the weather has improved, but in some places relief teams are still working to ensure basic living conditions: 

"We're entering the stage of final measures to deal with direct consequence of the floods" but "normal cannot be expected any time soon", said Leon Behin, acting head of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, when summed up the current flood situation at a news conference on Monday August 7. 

 

Drone footage from the flooded areas in Slovenia

The Guardian has published drone footage from some of the worst affected areas. (Same as in video window above)

The BBC also has drone footage from the flooded areas in Slovenia. 

 

CTIF President visiting the affected areas on Monday

The CTIF President Milan Dubravac, who lives and works in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, reported that he was on his way to the affected areas together with a German THW team on Monday afternoon. 

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM AUGUST 5: 

Situation still critical - international help will be needed

On Saturday, CTIF members in Slovenia described the situation as "still critical"; and international help will be requested. There  will be a lot of recovery activities needed; some areas are still cut off by high water and are supplied by helicopters. 

By Friday night, three people were reported dead. By Saturday, the death toll had risen to at least four. 

A state of emergency was issued Friday across the country as authorities prepare for power outages and more dangerous flooding, reports NBC News and several other international media.

Slovenia.info reports of heavy rain and evacuations in western, northern, and certain areas of central Slovenia has resulted in extensive flooding. In response to the escalating situation and with the expectation of additional rain and floods, the Environment Agency (ARSO) has elevated the weather alert to its highest level. 

 

A firefighter from the fire service of Mengeš in Slovenia carries out a child from a flooded home. Photo provided by the fire service of Mengeš.

Firefighters from the fire service of Mengeš in Slovenia carrying out residents from a flooded home. Photo provided by the fire service of Mengeš.

 

According to Slovenia’s environmental agency ARSO, the equivalent of one month’s worth of rain fell within 24 hours in the affected areas.

The Protection and Rescue Administrative Unit of the Republic of Slovenia has issued comprehensive guidelines for dealing with flood-related emergencies and installing emergency flood defenses.

For accurate storm monitoring, the Environment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia website offers a list of online tools among them also the Meteo Portal. It is also advisable to check the situation on the roads.

 

11 dead in Georgian landslide 

At least 11 people died and around 25 others are still missing after a landslide devastated the popular resort in Georgia’s Shovi Valley on Thursday night, reports EuroNews.com.

The Georgian Interior Ministry reported on Friday that the extreme weather event which hit Shovi devastated the resort, located along the Chankaji River, and that works to clear it out and restore it will start “as soon as possible”.

According to the ministry, more than 200 people were evacuated by helicopters because of the landslide sweeping away bridges on the highway leading to the resort, which made road vehicle access more difficult.

 

Massive hail storm in Germany - 250 firefighters called in

July was a month of extreme weather throughout the world, and CTIF.org will soon publish a summary of those. Unfortunately, August is starting in a similar way, and we can report that in Germany, a localized hail storm in the German city of Reutlingen brought 30 cm / 12 inches of hail which needed to be removed. 

Drainage systems were also blocked by the storm, causing water to pour into underground garages and basements, officials said in a statement. The Echaz river reportedly rose 1,5 meter /  5  feet in five minutes

About 250 firefighters took part in clean-up operations across the city, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, reports Telegraph.co.uk. 

 

A firefighter from the fire service of Mengeš in Slovenia carries out a child from a flooded home. Photo provided by the fire service of Mengeš.
A firefighter from the fire service of Mengeš in Slovenia carries out a child from a flooded home. Photo provided by the fire service of Mengeš.