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January 23, 2022

Floods in 14 counties of the country. Roads and houses under the water, desperate people…

Covasna County is affected by floods following a strong flood flow on the Olt River. The levee in Baraolt has taken the brunt of the flood. Authorities intervened to strengthen the levee with sandbags and decided to evacuate 300 locals on Wednesday evening. However, many of them refused to leave. Covasna firefighters were reinforced by their colleagues from Mures and Bacau, while firefighters from Prahova sent an inflatable boat. Water Resources Minister Ioan Denes, Interior Minister Carmen Dan, and Civil Contingencies Department Head Raed Arafat went on the scene.

Gendarmes are prepared to carry out the forced evacuation of Covasna County locals, where the levee protecting Capeni locality is at risk of breaking. Interior Minister Carmen Dan visited the site and stated that the main problem that intervention forces are facing is making people aware that they are in a high-risk area.

“The biggest problem the gendarmes faced wasn’t managing the situation itself but making the population aware that they are in a high-risk area. At this moment, the levee is unstable. We’ll go to that vulnerable area and we’ll talk to people, to make them understand they must leave that area,” Carmen Dan stated.

The Interior Minister said that the evacuation order also entails evacuation in any conditions, including forced evacuation. The Interior Minister said that it is important for people to understand that there is a major risk.

“If the situation calls for it, this evacuation can be forced, with a timely warning. The decision must be taken by the mayor and the prefect. We’re getting ready for yet another period in which rains are forecast, possibly heavy rains that will last until Sunday evening. So, we’re entering another area of high risk,” the Interior Minister said.

She added that in Augustin, Brasov County, the water accumulation is impressive. “For us, the most important thing is to save lives,” the Interior Minister concluded.

“For now, in Augustin, the situation is under control, but we continue to work to strengthen a railway segment, to prevent the water from reaching the area. In the next day it will rain again, and we must be prepared. In this area, agricultural lands were flooded and the water did not reach to the people’s households,” said lieutenant-colonel Lucian Marciu, the head of ISU Brasov.

In his turn, Interior Ministry Secretary of State Raed Arafat, who accompanied Interior Minister Carmen Dan on the scene, pointed out that a forced evacuation “was carried out once before in the Prut River area, when gendarmes took the people to the evacuation point.” Arafat pointed out that in case of such an evacuation the gendarmes will remain in the area and will protect the people’s properties.

Floods were registered in other counties too. In Teleorman County, 16 localities were flooded and roads became unusable. The situation could grow worse because a flood warning has been issued for a river and a flood advisory for another. Hundreds of households have been flooded in Mures, Harghita, Brasov and Sibiu counties too.


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