The heavy rainfalls of the past few days in over a hundred Romanian towns and villages left behind hundreds of people evacuated, hundreds of houses flooded, thousands of hectares of crops destroyed
In the first half of June, Romania had changing weather, with 132 code red, orange or yellow warnings against thunderstorms, heavy rainfalls and floods issued in the past 3 or 4 days alone. According to the Interior Ministry, more than 100 villages and towns in 18 counties and the capital Bucharest were affected by heavy rains, landslides or floods.
Hundreds of fire fighters and 1,500 Interior Ministry personnel were sent with special equipment, boats and pumps to help the people. The good news is that there were no casualties. Still, hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes, hundreds of houses were flooded and thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.
Some of the most severely affected areas were the counties of Hunedoara and Timis, in the south-west, Tulcea in the south-east, and Bacau in the east. A downpour that lasted less than half an hour affected the cities of Deva and Hunedoara, with a precipitation rate of over 50 litres per square meter.
The traffic was stuck, and for several hours the road connecting the two towns was blocked by waters more than half a metre high. The local authorities in Timis County are constantly monitoring Barzava River, for which a code-red flood alert has been issued. Special attention is also paid to the villages of Denta and Gataia, where a flash flood is expected and dams have been reinforced with sand bags.
In Caransebes, in the south-west, tap water is no longer drinkable because the rains of the past few days pushed local water treatment plants beyond their capacity. Authorities urged people not to use tap water for drinking or cooking.
The rainfalls also reactivated landslides in Comanesti, Bacau County, in the east. Sixty people were evacuated, after 40 others had been forced to leave their homes earlier this week. In Tulcea, where precipitation rates of 115 litres per square metre were reported, the Prefect’s Office has announced that the recent rains damaged thousands of hectares of farm land.
After this rain spell, a heat wave is expected. Temperatures will likely rise substantially in the coming days, particularly in the capital city Bucharest, where they are expected to reach 35-37 degrees Celsius by the end of the week.