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Serbia: Flash floods - Emergency Plan of Action, DREF Operation n° MDRRS012

Publication date

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Heavy rainfalls occurred in the western part of Serbia on 6-7 March 2016, which caused the Western and Southern Morava rivers to spill over. A state of emergency was declared in the municipalities of Arilje and Lučani since the rivers Bjelica and Moravica inundated local roads, residential buildings and other infrastructures such as factories and schools.

As a result of continuous rains, further flooding affected other areas of the country, bringing a number of municipalities to declare a state of natural disaster on 8 March. In those municipalities where a state of emergency was declared about 710 households were flooded and 154 people were evacuated.

Pozega municipality declared a state of emergency on 6 March due to flash flooding caused by the spill-over of the rivers Skrapež, Western Morava and Moravica. The floods have affected seven villages and the outskirts of the local community Tatojevica. In the northern part of the municipal territory at least six villages were left without electricity for several hours. The municipality has a total of 29,488 inhabitants, of which nearly 5,000 have been affected. At least 100 households have been flooded and approximately 1,000 hectares of farmland has been also affected. The flash floods caused landslides, and at least thirty families had to be evacuated and temporarily accommodated with relatives and friends.

After heavy rainfalls on 6 March, there was a sudden rise of water levels on the river Bjelica next morning, which caused severe floods in the territory of Lucani municipality, the basin of the river Bjelica, Guca, Turica, Puh Krstac, Đerađ, Dljin and Lucani, with strong impact to about 70 -100 houses (approx. 450 residents) and about 500 hectares of farmland.

On the same day the city of Kraljevo declared an emergency due to flooding which occurred the previous day. The first estimates indicated that more than 140 houses have been flooded while more than 4,000 people have been affected. As a result of flooding in the next 24 hours, 413 persons were evacuated, of whom only thirty persons were relocated to the collective centre, i.e. the building of the local primary school. During the very first hours after the floods, the employees and volunteers of the Red Cross branch of Kraljevo assisted those people some of whom have found temporarily shelter with their closest relatives and friends. The local Red Cross branch conducted a rapid needs assessment, followed with the immediate distribution of essential relief items to the most vulnerable families. Water supply tanks were deployed by the Public Utility Company and the Serbian Army, while the Red Cross of Serbia provided three tanks of 1,500 litters each. UNHCR provided 9,000 litres of bottled drinking water from its warehouse stocks for the pupils of the schools and preschools. The flooded areas in Cacak municipality involved the villages of Konjevići and Preljina where 420 people have been evacuated. The rivers Trnavice and Jošanice in Novi Pazar flooded the entire local community of Trnava. Cleaning of the flooded houses started with the help of the Serbian Army supported by the affected residents and volunteers immediately after the water receded. In the municipalities of Raska, Trstenik and Bajina Basta the floods were less destructive, affecting between 20-30 households per municipality.