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Floods in South-East Romania
Geneva, 17 September 2013
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
During the period from 10–14 of September, continuous torrential rains have swept eastern Romania causing massive damages in the south-eastern part of Moldova province. Thousands of villagers have fled their homes with makeshift boats, horse carriages and cars and some scrambled up trees to get away from the rising waters. Thousands more might have to leave their dwellings in the next 2-3 days if flood waters will not withdraw. Soldiers and civil defense workers scrambled to reinforce dykes and build sandbag barriers. However, in some parts the water has soaked dams and embankments and it is impossible to use heavy equipment such as bulldozers to fight the waters. The hardest hit region is the county of Galati, recording the highest number of evacuees and flooded villages but also Braila and Tulcea are seriously affected. Thousands of people are currently accommodated in school buildings, monasteries, hospitals, army tents, sport facilities.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
Across the region, 1.400 of emergency workers have been deployed round the clock to reinforce defenses and battle the churning waters, trying to consolidate with sandbags dikes and dams along the main rivers eastern Romania. There is also a danger of the increase of water related and water-borne diseases. Local health authorities fear an epidemic that could easily spread after the waters will withdraw. Through the national media, the Ministry of the Interior has appealed to NGO’s and volunteers to assist evacuated people. ACT member AIDRom Emergency Unit has already experience in responding to similar disasters in the country and is also this time ready to provide support.
3. National and international response
Access to the most affected regions is very difficult at the moment but emergency planning is underway. The response from the Government and state institutions to this high emergency was relatively sound and good; however, it is unable to meet all the various needs of the affected population in the same time. The Government’s Operative Committee for Emergency and Crisis Situation started urgent distribution of drinking water, food and non-food supplies from the national reserves for those evacuated. People from evacuation camps are receiving blankets, mattresses, canned foods, bread, mineral water, sugar, mineral water, oil, flour, rain coats, and lamp oil. Several public institutions and companies from various parts of the country have already started collecting food, clothes and medicines for the flood families.
4. ACT Alliance response
ACT member AIDRom Emergency Unit is carrying out an initial assessments and is ready to deploy within the next days a team to the most affected counties of Galati, Braila and Tulcea. The aim is to carry out a more detailed assessment and to distribute basic items to prevent further suffering.
5. Planned activities
Following the rapid needs assessment, AIDRom plans to apply for RRF funding. The greatest needs at these moments are the non perishable food parcels and drinking water followed by hygiene items and clothing to be distributed among the displaced and those who returning home after withdrawal of the waters. AIDRom Emergency Unit will coordinate the response with relief agencies, the government, churches, and the Red Cross.
Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (firstname.lastname@example.org)