Flash floods have been reported in Romania for several days now, and the country is still under alert
News reports in Romania have been focusing on rainfalls, floods and flash floods, as the country is facing the rainiest month of June in 60 years. Rivers have overflown and killed people, destroying households, crops, bridges, and in some places disrupting road and railway transport.
Where the danger is over, people are taking stock of what’s left behind, and trying to fix what they can. Teams from the Inspectorate for Emergencies have been deployed to the flooded areas, and the Romanian Water Administration authority continues to monitor the rivers that are under warnings.
The National Hydrology and Water Management Institute has lifted the code red alerts issued a few days ago for the rivers Prut, Timiş and Jiu, in the north and centre of the country, but they replaced them with code yellow or orange alerts.
Special attention is still paid to Prut River, as flash floods occurring upstream, in neighbouring Ukraine, are quickly advancing towards Romania. Considerable flow rate increases have also been reported in the centre of the country, in counties Harghita and Covasna, where heavy rainfalls are expected to cause flash floods and mudslides. The danger is even greater on Timiş river, in the west.
Meanwhile, military firefighters and gendarmes are carrying on assistance and support operations in the Jiu Valley area, where mining towns like Uricani and Aninoasa were badly hit. Hundreds of households were flooded and hundreds of people were evacuated.
The Lupeni coal mine was also flooded. Almost 400 workers were evacuated after water went into the underground galleries, reaching one and a half metres high. Coal production was suspended until the situation is addressed.
The heavy flooding reported in recent days in Romania is a consequence of chaotic exploitation of the forests and building materials along rivers, the Minister for the Environment, Waters and Forests Costel Alexe warned, after inspections on site. It is vital that we understand we need to take better care of the environment in the near future, so as to avoid situations like these, Costel Alexe said.
Also while on site, the Interior Minister Marcel Vela called on local authorities in all the counties affected by flooding to step up the damage assessment and to submit relevant documentation to prefect offices.
Weather experts warn that after this rainy spell, severe heat is expected to hit Romania.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)