Floods in the Balkans requires more drainage works.

Juan G.R. Floods in the Balkans require more drainage works.
Water and Irrigation. Vol: 5, No. 1: 13-16, June, 2014, Spain.

Heavy rains as a consequence of the combined action of different meteorological factors within and outside the territory of the Balkans in 2014 has caused severe flooding and economic damage estimated at around 2.5 billion euros, affecting mid-spring to Servia , Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, at the end of spring to Bulgaria, so it is necessary to further evaluate the effects of rainfall that caused the flow of inland waters and the external water in the affected areas, in order to build networks where required external and internal drainage to reduce runoff and permitting the release of water in less time, reducing flood damage. Must reactivate the construction of levees on the Danube River in the Sava River and other rivers with irregular problems avenues.

On Monday 19 May three Balkan countries: Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia were still fighting against the worst flooding in a century, which had already caused more than 55 fatalities. The efforts of the rescue teams concentrated on the banks of the Sava River, from which a water further rise in Serbia and Bosnia are expected, the Sava river, the levees broke in many places in the region of Bijeljina, has flooded dozens of villages this region where 6,000 people have been evacuated. Refugees have explained that the water in their villages reaches three meters high. The Balkan region lived on 18 May an emergency situation at the continuing rising waters, while humanitarian aid began to arrive from several European countries.

In Obrenovac in Serbia, about 30 kilometers southwest of Belgrade, is one of the places most affected by water, it was found on Sunday the bodies of 12 people. Property damage was estimated at about 1 billion euros in Serbia, have been affected electrical, communications, thousands of damaged homes, crops affected areas, in total 33 people have died due to heavy rains in the last five days.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, almost a third of the four million people are directly affected by the floods. A third of Bosnia is under water, according to local television, showing images of localities with water to the roofs, especially near the border with Croatia. According to the Bosnian Ministry of Security, is “the worst natural disaster in the history” of the Balkan country. So far there are 23 dead people in Bosnia. The most critical situation occurs in northeastern Bosnia, near Bijeljina, ŠAMAC where the Sava river overflowed uncontrolled regions, Maglaj and Doboj were covered with water and mud, where thousands of people have been evacuated, economic losses for the country is estimated at about one billion euros

Also in Croatia confirmed Sunday the first fatality from the flooding of the Sava, which blew a makeshift levee in the city of Rajevo Selo, in the east of the country, while two others are still missing.

Other effects of bad weather were landslides in many Serbs and Bosnian towns and the rising temperatures with the risk of epidemics and thaws and dislocation of landmines in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The origin of these torrential rains and flooding is caused by low pressure system located in eastern Europe, which mainly affects the countries of southern Europe as seen in the satellite image. There were two low pressure centers one in the Atlantic Ocean and other on the southern European countries to where the Atlantic low pressure that came loaded with lots of water will eventually offset. This area has been under the influence of low pressures and instability for several days. Between 14 and 17 May in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia dropped the amount of water equivalent to an average of 4 months, with an average cumulative rainfall of 260 mm in the affected areas, which meant that the area suffered the worst natural disaster, between the two countries were affected more than 100,000 houses and destroyed about 250 schools.

On May 15, when several cities and towns in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to a lesser extent in Croatia, were covered by water, many families felt they had been abandoned to their fate. The reaction across the board was swift thousands of aid received. Most sports facilities in Belgrade, became makeshift reception centers and thousands of volunteers attended the evacuees. Social networks distributed information to all corners, asking for help inside and outside the borders, clothing, food, hygiene products and denouncing acts as the increase in prices of water and food in disaster areas. Regardless of ethnicity or religion, the least affected neighbors have turned to the damaged areas to help those who have lost everything.

Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey, Russia, Spain, Austria and Croatia and Bulgaria also affected material aid reacted immediately, as well as other countries in the region and the European Union. Donations were also received from private institutions. Russia was the first power to make an appearance with a full aircraft rescue and the EU has confirmed that Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will receive substantial aid funds.

At the time of the government of the former Yugoslavia were already flooding problems and the state planned to build only 34 coastal defenses in Serbia to regulate the flow of the Sava and the Danube, until today only has 5 built and much remains do, there have been abandoning the construction and maintenance of canals, dikes and drainage systems for a long time.

A month after the floods in northwestern Serbia in the Balkans, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, now the floods occurred southeast of the Balkans this time in Bulgaria The death toll due to floods in Bulgaria is 16, the most victims correspond to Varna along the shores of the Black Sea, 12 people have died in the district of Asparuhovo, swept by a wave of water and mud from 2.5 meters high, which swept away dozens of cars, trees and poles electricity. The dead included four children, while four others are still missing, sources with the Ministry of Interior.

The water swept cars and closed access for rescue teams and it is possible that in flooded homes have more trapped people. The supply of electricity is cut and the state of emergency was declared. Two other deaths were reported in Dobrich, a city of 90,000 people 60 kilometers north of Varna, two houses were completely destroyed and at least 30 cars washed, and rescue teams and military looking for bodies in the sea and vehicles, added the sources.

According to the statement of 19 June in Varna rainfall reached 117 liters per square meter, causing a major landslide, rainfall was double what is normal for the entire month of June. Moreover, the situation is complicated in other parts of Bulgaria, but no fatalities, but with significant economic damage being assessed. Apparently Asparuchovo flooding, a district of Varna, was caused by the overflow of a river that was full of trash and debris. The rains also caused flooding north of the mountains of the Balkan country: where dozens of homes were flooded, crops and livestock is affected.

According to the official report of Varna city has experienced heavy rainfall; situation was worsened by the presence of hail; factor hampering the efforts of rescue workers who had no access to land routes because they were filled with water. Electrical service was cut and flooding reached two meters high in the areas of greatest risk, a situation that forced the inhabitants to take refuge on the roofs of homes and buildings. Some of the roads were not available for access due to obstruction generated trees and cars were swept away by the force of water.

Heavy rains as a consequence of the combined action of different meteorological factors within and outside the territory of southern Europe has caused severe flooding and economic damage estimated at around 2.5 billion euros, so it is necessary to assess more detail the effects of rainfall that caused the flow of inland waters and the effects of rainfall corresponding to the external water in the affected areas in order to build networks where required external and internal drainage to reduce runoff from external waters and inland waters can be evacuated in less time, reducing flood damage.

Should be improved from the new record rainfall the calculation of internal drainage in cities as well as clean and give more section to the channels used to drain the excess water. Must reactivate the construction of levees on the Danube River, in the Sava River and other rivers with irregular problems avenues. It must be remembered that in the spring of 2013, a year ago just also had major flooding in the countries of Central Europe and much of runoff was evacuated across the Danube River on which greatly raised the level of its waters and threatened to flood in different countries through which it passed. Nor should it be forgotten that earlier this year saw major flooding in the UK and we must prepare for similar situations.


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