Premier Victor Ponta convened on Thursday the emergency situations cell after floods in Galati left eight people dead, including a child, and one missing, with over 700 houses being flooded and hundreds of people evacuated. “Considering the abundant rainfalls registered in recent hours in Galati County as well as the weather forecast for the following hours, Prime Minister Victor Ponta convened an emergency situations cell at the Victoria Palace,” a government press communiqué reads.
According to Galati County Council President Nicolae Bacalbasa, county authorities received the weather alert “while the phenomenon was ongoing,” stating that the situation in fact called for a severe weather warning. “The alarm systems in communes, the sirens, worked very well. Unfortunately we received a weather watch alert. The weather alert was issued when the phenomenon was ongoing. Undoubtedly weather forecasting is an accurate science up to a point, but the situation called for a severe weather warning,” Bacalbasa stated during the videoconference organized by the emergency situations cell convened at the government.
He added that there is the risk of an outbreak of disease in the county, considering that water sources have been contaminated by the floods. “At this hour the water sources, the wells, are compromised. We absolutely need bottled water because there is a certain epidemiological risk. For the time being we obviously do not have cases of waterborne digestive illnesses, but this will be a problem at least on the medium term,” Bacalbasa added.
Raed Arafat, secretary of state within the Health Ministry, asked in this context for the firefighters, gendarmes and police officers that are intervening on the scene and that are not vaccinated to be given vaccines, the rest of the population set to be vaccinated only if it returns very quickly to the affected areas.
The eight people killed are from Cuca village (3), Costache Negri village (2), Cudalbi village (1) and Pechea village (1). An eight-year-old girl is missing in the Cudalbi village. “It seems there are eight dead – six persons who drowned and two who suffered heart attacks. Likewise, a person is missing,” the President of the Galati County Council explained. He pointed out that teams of firefighters, gendarmes and police officers are verifying every house in the affected areas in order to look for possible victims.
The floods affected 700 houses, the flood waters reaching heights of over one meter in some of them, as well as over 500 courtyards and gardens. Secretary of state Catalin Chiper went to Galati County by helicopter on Thursday.
Also, dozens of soldiers and three pieces of equipment belonging to the Ministry of National Defense (MApN) helped the locals of Mastacan, Costache Negri and Pechea, Galati County on Thursday and tried to limit the effects and damage caused by the floods that hit the area the night before, ministerial sources inform.
Alluvial deposits partially blocked traffic about six kilometers along the National Road (DN) 26, and about the same distance along the County Road (DJ) 242, as well as the railway traffic between Galati and Barlad.
As many as 83 workers from the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, 26 gendarmes, 153 members of the local committees for emergency situations, and 90 soldiers from the Galati Garrison helped the rescue operations during the night of Wednesday to Thursday.
The approximately 500 persons evacuated from their homes in Galati County will be temporarily offered shelter in village halls and schools in the affected localities, mobile homes set to be brought in order to house them for a longer period. Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea announced on Thursday in Galati that the persons evacuated from their homes as a result of the floods will receive food and water from state reserves.
Watch alert for rainfalls in Moldavia. New rainfall warning issued on Friday
The National Meteorological Administration (ANM) issued on Thursday a watch alert for all Moldavian counties, rainfalls with quantities of up to 25 liters per square meter and 50-60 liters per square meters over limited areas set to be registered there until Friday morning, the highest quantities being expected in northern Moldavia and in hilly and mountainous areas.
At the same time, a new rainfall watch will be issued for the night of Friday to Saturday, when rainfalls will be more consistent in southeastern regions, namely in southern Moldavia, Dobrogea, Baragan and Oltenia.