Thursday, May 22, 2008

Romania on Flood Alert

21 May 2008
Bucharest _ Romania is set to see flooding in central and western regions in the coming days, weather forecasters warn.

The National Hydrology Institute issued an amber alert for flooding and some twenty major rivers in three quarters of the country are at risk of overflowing.

On Wednesday, the government adopted a strategy for raising awareness of the threat using the media to warn residents of the danger.

”People must know that in emergency cases they should cooperate with authorities and trust them,” the Secretary of State in the Administration Ministry, Victor Paul Dobre, said.

He added that all local officials are on alert preparing for the threat of flooding and have already established contingency plans.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of houses were flooded in the northwest parts of the country in the Cluj, Salaj and Baia-Mare counties.

The people there will get food and water to the value of Lei 30,000 (€ 8,571), the government said.

Meteorologists have already urged Romanians to expect temperatures this summer in excess of 40 degrees Celsius, together with freak storms and heavy rainfall long periods of hot, dry weather will generate.

In 2005 and 2006, Romania was hit by exceptionally heavy rainfall and flooding.

Many dams, which have suffered a lack of funding for years, simply collapsed.

Last year Romania was hit by a particularly severe drought.

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