21 killed as heavy rain, floods hit Romania

21 killed as heavy rain, floods hit Romania AFP – The river Siret partly floods the village of Sendreni. Heavy rains caused floods that killed 21 people …

DOROHOI, Romania (AFP) – Heavy rains caused floods that killed 21 people in Romania and thousands of others were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday as rivers threatened to burst their banks.

People climbed trees to escape the rising water and many houses, roads and railway lines were destroyed or damaged by the floods, officials said.

Hundreds of police and emergency workers were deployed to the rescue operation while several localities along the Danube River took urgent measures to stop it from breaching its banks.

"The situation is tragic, the damage is of a scale hard to imagine," Gheorghe Flutur, president of Suceava department, one of the worst hit regions, told Mediafax news agency.

Twenty-one people have been confirmed dead and at least one other was missing since the floods started last week, emergency inspectorate spokesman Alin Maghiar told AFP.

Nineteen died after being carried away by high waters and two others were killed by lightning, he said.

Most of the deaths occurred on Monday night in two departments close from the Ukrainian border.

In the northeastern town of Dorohoi, six people died in overnight Monday to Tuesday, according to officials. More than 1,700 people had to be evacuated and some scrambled up trees to avoid the water, witnesses said.

Flooding receded on Tuesday afternoon but houses were badly damaged by the water, which rose above one metre (3.3 feet) in some places. Roads into Dorohoi remained under water.

Heavy rain has fallen for much of the past week in the Balkan country and forecasters have warned that it will continue in northeastern Romania until Wednesday morning.

Several old people died last week in the central regions of the country after being carried away by high waters.

On Tuesday night, authorities in northeastern Neamt department ordered the evacuation of about 11,000 people along the river Siret, a Danube tributary threatening to overflow.

In the northern Suceava, hundreds of people were evacuated Tuesday for the same reason.

"Ten villages have been evacuated. 1,870 people will spend the night in monasteries, schools, cultural centres or with relatives," a spokeswoman for the Suceava authorities told AFP.

About 1,100 sheep were moved to higher ground in the mainly rural region.

Further along the Siret, in Sendreni, inhabitants and emergency servicemen reinforced dykes with bags of sand to prevent floods.

Prime Minister Emil Boc flew to the affected zones in northeastern Romania and said Bucharest could ask for help from an emergency European fund.

Damages could amount to more than 0.6 percent of gross domestic product, Interior Minister Vasile Blaga said.

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5 Comments

  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    Disco King Wed Jun 30, 2010 07:15 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Well, I suppose they needed a bath anyway.
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Simona Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:15 pm PDT Report Abuse
    Vyechnaya Pamyat! Memory Eternal!
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    ea52b Tue Jun 29, 2010 09:18 pm PDT Report Abuse
    It is generally not a good idea for us to build cities and structures in river valley floodplains, river deltas or directly on the ocean in coastal areas which are prone to tropical storms and hurricanes.

    There are many dams in the U.S. and worldwide where some of these latest floods are occurred. The nearby dams, on many of these rivers, may actually have the effect of intensifying the flooding. Nearly every river on earth is now dammed multiple times.

    River floodplain towns, cities and other developments DOWNSTREAM from dams sites can actually be flooded more intensely when dam operators release massive amounts of reservoir water into rivers during storms to stop reservoirs waters from flooding over dam walls.

    Towns and cities BEHIND dams can also flood rapidly during storms when river water backs up because it's blocked from draining rapidly down the river and out to the sea or into a larger river system.

    Floods and storms, seasonal, or otherwise, are actually extremely healthy for the land and for wildlife, but unfortunately in the last few hundred years or so we've been building houses, cities and subdivisions in river valley flood plains and river deltas, like in New Orleans and other U.S. cities. Why do we do this?...because people have always lived near water for the fish and fresh water provided, it's instinctual, but now we're living in dangerously close proximity to flood zones and hurricane prone coastal zones, year round, which compounds the damage and death caused by hurricanes, storms and floods.

    The only problem is that in order for us to live near water safely we have to channelize and dredge out entire river systems, and build massive systems of levees, dams and dikes to stop flood waters from spilling over riverbanks. (sorry fish, reptiles, birds and amphibians, we like living in your habitat more than we like you)...and we wonder where all the frogs have gone.

    We clear natural habitat like fallen trees and rocks from rivers and think we're making the river "better" because we can race our speedboats up and down it, but then the fish and other life have no natural cover. Deforestation of hillsides around rivers also greatly intensifies flooding, not only here in the U.S., but worldwide.(has anybody noticed the increase in deadly flooding worldwide).

    All these levees and channels can have the effect of causing river water to shoot directly out into coastal waters, instead of spilling over riverbanks and soaking the land for a few weeks in the spring, which normally would provide habitat and sustenance for billions of birds, fish, amphibians and other living things. Rivers used to do that for millions of years before man decided that floods were "bad".

    If the rainfall is heavy enough to overwhelm riverbank engineering schemes, it usually does so with exceedingly great violence in comparison to a river that has not been engineered or it's riverside hills not greatly deforested.

    Hurricanes and floods are not bad but just nature doing maintenance work. What's bad is where we choose to build our houses and cities.

    Of course global warming/climate change and El Nino are intensifying these storms.

    Many indigenous tribes around the world historically did not build long term permanent structures in river floodplains, in river deltas or directly on coastal areas prone to storms. Population pressures worldwide have changed this.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Tue Jun 29, 2010 04:49 pm PDT Report Abuse
    yeah, that sucks
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    emrah Tue Jun 29, 2010 01:39 am PDT Report Abuse
    ı hope it will be better for all romanian people.

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