Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, stated that four of the persons who went missing in the areas hit by the recent floods were found dead, including the 13-year old child who went missing in the Surdulesti locality, Arges County. Other tree people were from Olt, Teleorman and Prahova Counties.
‘It is unfortunate that, following voluntary actions, people lost their lives, after they ignored the big risks they were facing, but also the warnings of the authorities and locals. Among the people who were initially declared missing, following the extended search missions that we conducted, four were found dead, which is very unfortunate,’ said Oprea at the emergency task force meeting at the headquarter of the MAI (Ministry of Administration and Interior), in which participated also Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Moreover, he announced that ‘the number of localities affected by the floods dropped from 86 down to 35, in part because due to the improved weather conditions, but also as a result of the interventions conducted by the teams of firefighters, policemen, gendarmes and border policemen.
According to the Deputy prime Minister, the MAI has more than 1,500 people deployed right now in the counties hit by the floods, with ‘their main mission being to support the population [...] and the communities to return to normality.’ ‘The number of search and rescue missions of people in danger reached up to 576, while the number of operations to evacuate people from their homes exceeded 730,’ specified Oprea.
Minister of Administration and Interior stated that the policemen and gendarmes who participated in the rescue missions in the areas hit by the floods did everything in their power to help the people and the loss of human lives had nothing to do with the manner in which they performed their duties:
‘The fact that up to this moment no one can say that human lives were lost because of the defectuous manner in which the more than 5,000 policemen and 6,000 gendarmes who were helping the people in the areas hit by the floods daily understood to do their job means that they did their job well.’
Dozens of homesteads, hundreds of hectares of farmland submerged in Arges and Prahova counties
Dozens of homesteads and hundreds of hectares of farmland in the Arges County (southern Romania) have been hit by the floods in the last two days, according to statistics drawn up by the Emergency Situations Inspectorate. The swollen waters submerged 48 homesteads in several rural towns as well as 429 hectares of pasture and arable land. A footbridge in Stefan cel Mare community was destroyed by the waters and 300 homes suffered power outages after a transforming station in Micesti broke down.
The situation was dramatic in Prahova County too, one house, several basements and cellars but also a restaurant were flooded due to heavy rainfall. According to a press release on Sunday by the Prahova-based Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU), fire crews made use of motopumps to evacuate floodwater from a house in Breaza, but also from 26 homesteads and annexed buildings in Sinaia, Campina, Ploiesti, Boldesti-Scaieni and Breaza. Furthermore, nine basements and cellars were flooded, ISU personnel also intervening to evacuate floodwater from a restaurant in Cornu locality that was flooded together with part of the property. Emergency crews also intervened on National Road (DN) 1A, in Maneciu rural town, to clear a high voltage electricity pylon that was at a risk of falling into the road.
PM Ponta: We shall fund Teleorman River engineering
Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced, yesterday, that the next Cabinet meeting would allocate 15 million lei funds to engineering works on the Teleorman River at Beiu village (southern Romania), seriously hit by recent floods. He added that works should be completed by August, and he is going to return to the area on that occasion to see how problems are solved. The announcement followed a visit to Beiu, where the prime minister, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea, discussed with the locals. The head of the Executive visited several flooded homes and talked with the locals, who asked him to support the building of a dam on the Teleorman riverbank. The prime minister also took a boat of the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations to the areas most heavily impacted by floods.
A day before, Ponta announced, after the meeting of the Command Centre at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI), that the Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday might allocate aid for re-building homes and infrastructure hit by floods. He mentioned that he had come to the MAI also to thank police officers and gendarmes who had been involved in the rescue operations for the flood victims: ‘We have all been with our families on Easter, which is normal. All regular people spend holidays with their families. Sadly, those people were hit by misfortune and the state’s institutions did their duty, and I wanted to thank the thousands of gendarmes, police officers and firemen, which by the nature of their positions – that’s why we highly appreciate them – have no holidays or anything, they report on duty 24 hours a day’.
The head of the Executive added that his presence is only needed when coordination of multiple institutions is required. ‘Otherwise, I don’t want to bother people on duty; but when it comes to repairing infrastructure, to allocating aids, we are talking also about the Ministry of Finance, about the Ministry of Environment, thus about a coordination task, which obviously rests on me as Prime Minister,’ Ponta declared.
Code Orange, Yellow warning of floods in place in five southern Romania river basins
The Romanian hydrology experts have issued a Code Orange and Code Yellow warning of floods on Tuesday in five river basins in southern Romania, while at the same time lifting a Code Red alert from the other previously-warned rivers. According to the National Institute for Hydrology and Water Management, a Code Orange warning will be in place from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. on Tuesday on the Neajlov (Giurgiu County), where the river flow and levels are expected to rise following the advance of the prior flash floods. A Code Yellow alert has been issued for the next hours for the Calmatui (Teleorman County), Paraul Cainelui where flowing into the Vedea (Teleorman County), on the downstream Vedea at the confluence with the Teleorman, on the Teleorman at the confluence with the Vedea, on the Sabar downstream Poenari (Giurgiu County) and on the Ialomita (Ialomita County).
The meteorologists do not herald good tidings for the forthcoming period either. According to the forecast issued by the National Meteorology Administration (ANM), the rain will come back in all regions of the country until the end of April, as major water amounts might cumulate in some areas, and the temperatures will range between 18 and 20 degrees C on average by May 4.