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Albania: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRAL006

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 7 November 2016, heavy rainfall affected Albania, especially the northern regions of the country. River flows have been rapidly increasing and worsened by illegal constructions next to river basins causing streams of water to descend into towns.

The heavy rainfall has made the water levels of the Drini and Mat rivers rise, which feed five hydroelectricity power lakes built on the rivers (Fierza, Koman, Vau i Dejes, Ulza and Shkopet). Authorities have been obliged to open the emergency gates to release the water from the lakes. The rain is nevertheless falling and the flooding is spreading to the Southern region ( Vlora and Fier areas) with the water level of the Vjosa River rising. In these areas, 25 houses have been affected and the families have been evacuated from their homes.

Subsequent to the alert of the Meteorological institute, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) ordered the establishment of several “Emergency Headquarters” across the country. In response to the warnings the police, emergency and technical response teams were instructed to be on full alert. Additionally, the MoI instructed all mayors and local representatives to take necessary precautions and advised people in the affected areas to restrain movements, in particular unaccompanied children. Schools and colleges were closed as a precaution.

Subsequently, the Albanian Government mobilized the State Police forces, the Military Units, and Fire Brigades Units to assist the affected families with evacuation from homes and schools. The municipality of Tirana distributed ready-toeat daily food (only enough for 2-3 days) and water and provided beds to the people accommodated in collective centers. The government has started repairing the damaged bridges and roads in order to allow proper transportation among the people living in affected areas.

According to official information, three people lost their lives. One of the fatalities occurred in the village of Plan, Dibër county, where the victim attempted to cross a river by car. The other fatality occurred when the victim fell into the swollen Tirana River in Tirana.

The Albanian Red Cross branches operating in the flooded areas informed that the affected families have lost their winter food reserves including their home furniture and electro domestic devices. The most affected areas are FusheKruja, Lezha, Tirana, Shkodra, Shijak, Mat, Dibra, and Vlora.

The weather forecast announced that the rain will stop in the next 2-3 days, but the snow in the mountain is melting and heavy rains are forecast in the near future across Albania.