A. Situation Analysis
Description of the disaster
On 15 March 2018, a meeting of the Emergency Situations Commission of the Republic of Belarus was held to discuss the coming spring floods in Belarus. The meeting was facilitated by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus.
The Belarus Red Cross (BRC) participated in the meeting, where the leaders of the country asked the BRC to mobilise staff, volunteers and funds to support the affected population. The Emergency Situations Commission stated that the analysis of the hydrometeorological conditions has shown that in 43 districts the territory of 140 villages and towns and 36 gardeners’ partnerships will suffer from flooding. Moreover, some elements of transport infrastructure (70 road segments and 15 bridges) and houses (including 6,608 garden cottages) can be affected.
On 19 March, floods were reported by the Belarusian authorities, local media and Belarus Red Cross branches, with 316 houses reported to be flooded in three regions of the country. According to information provided by hydro-meteorological agencies, rapidly-increasing volumes of water were observed across the entire country. The rise of water levels amounted to 10–200 cm per day, depending on the district. The water level of rivers was rising, with ice still covering the rivers Western Dvina, Dniepr, Berezina, Sozh, as well as the Vileiskoe, Chigirinskoe, Zaslavskoe, Soligorskoe, Krasnaya Sloboda water storages, and the lakes Drivyaty, Naroch, Chervonoe. With the melting of ice, significant increases of water levels were expected. Snow was still on the ground in some districts, reaching up to 20 cm.
On 21 March, it snowed, which further worsened the situation with thawing. The daily water-level fluctuation in the rivers was on average 12 cm. In many rivers, the level of water was above bottom land. Rivers Pripyat, Sluch and Ubort reached critical water levels by mid-April. The most critical areas were the ones near village Chernichi, in Gomel region. 1,356 houses were fully or partially flooded by mid-April.
As of 19 April, there were severe floods in 14 districts of the Republic of Belarus – with the total population of the affected districts being around 400,000 people. Roads were damaged, which made it difficult to deliver aid. The increase of water level continued on Berezina and Sozh rivers, as well as Dnepr river near Zhlobin and Loev cities with a daily increase of 1-10 cm per day. There were water level fluctuations in Western Dvina, Neman and Pripyat rivers, with an intensity of 1-24 cm per day. In most rivers, the water level was above the bottom land. The levels of water exceeded dangerous rates in Pripyat near the village of Chernichi and the city of Petrikov, inflows of Sluch river near the village of Lenin and inflow of Sozh to Pronya river near the village of Letyagy. The level of water was close to dangerous on the river Neman near Stobtsy, river Schara near Slomin, river Dnepr near Zhlobin, river Drut near village Gorodische, river Berezina near Borisov and Bobruisk, river Pripyat nead Mozyr, river Tsna near village Dyatlovichi and river Ubort near village Krasnoberezhye. About 6,600 houses, 70 roads and 15 bridges were flooded by the end of April, at least 22,500 persons were affected.
Since 10 May, the floods on the territory of Belarus have been actively decreasing, and the affected population started to complete recovery works.