In Romania, the flash floods caused by the heavy rains of the past few days have killed people and caused substantial damage. Most rivers in the country are subject to code orange and yellow alerts until Friday, and the situation is even worse in the north, where hydrologists have a code red alert in place until Thursday at noon for the river Tisa, in Maramureş County, and Prut, in Botoşani County. In these areas in particular, the risk of flash floods remains high.
Until Thursday, weather experts have also issued a code yellow alert for temporarily severe unstable weather for all mountain areas, for the north, centre, east and parts of the south regions of the country.
Flash floods have already been reported in three-quarters of the counties, and emergency teams have been deployed to pump water out of households. Strong winds have brought down trees and electricity poles, also requiring emergency intervention.
Tens of people were evacuated and temporarily housed in buildings offered by local authorities or relatives, some of them as a precaution and others because their own houses were simply washed away.
Households, gardens, farm land and streets have been flooded, and the situation could have been even more dramatic, had people not been warned by the RoAlert system. This is how some of the victims describe what happened:
“The water was knee deep. We were flooded from both sides because of the brook, water came down both from the gardens, and from the street side.”
“Our animals are still in the water—the pigs, the horse, the cow. This is not the first time we’ve been flooded, but it’s not been that bad in a long time. It’s a disaster.”
“This keeps happening for several years now. We need a dam. There is so much work and so much spending every time this happens, and it happens a lot. Water is half the height of the house walls. As for the garden, you don’t want to know. But we are especially upset about the house—the furniture, the flooring, everything.”
In some towns as well, basements have also been flooded, and in the north of Bucharest the sewage system was temporarily unable to handle the situation. Radio Romania correspondents from around the country report collapsed roads, traffic jams, landslides or disrupted railway transport.
In the west of the country, the most affected area is Alba County, where heavy rains triggered landslides. Hundreds of households and industrial units went under water, and scores of people were left without homes. Bridges were also damaged, and so were national and county roads and streets. A railway bridge was also damaged by mudslides, causing the traffic to be suspended. Tens of military firefighters, gendarmes and police, as well as Volunteer Emergency Services personnel were deployed to address the problem.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)