Thursday, July 31, 2008

Romania government grants aid to flood victims

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - The Romanian government on Tuesday put up 50 million lei ($22 million) to rebuild infrastructure damaged by recent floods and granted financial aid to affected villagers.

"We will ensure the population get the support they need so they can get over this situation," Interior Minister Cristian David told reporters after an emergency cabinet meeting.

Four people died in floods in the northeastern county of Maramures and two are still missing. Authorities said some of the region's 12,000 evacuees were now returning to their homes as floodwaters receded.

The floods also damaged 2,000 houses, 1,400 small bridges and 20,000 hectares of farmland.

David said the government would grant 4.8 million lei from state reserves for food and materials such as mattresses and sleeping bags. Families of those killed would receive 5,000 lei.

Villagers with partially destroyed houses will get aid of between 300 and 500 lei depending on the extent of the damage.

In Ukraine, Romania's northern neighbor, floods have killed 22 people, destroyed homes, farmland and roads and prompted the evacuation of 20,000 residents, officials said on Monday.

Romanian meteorologists are not predicting further torrential rains but warn that waters coming down from Ukraine could still cause damage.

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