Dealing with Varna’s Asparouhovo flood damage to cost more than 23 million leva – estimate

Drainage and cleaning after the deadly flood that struck the Asparouhovo area of Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Varna cost about 3.6 million leva (about 1.8 million euro) and more than 22 million will be needed for strengthening infrastructure and stormwater drainage, according to Varna mayor Ivan Portnih.

Estimates are that about 19 million leva will be needed to secure two drainage channels in Asparouhovo and to reinforce the landscape against landslides, the risk of which intensified after the June 19 deluge.

But this money would be only for emergency reinforcement rather than a definitive solution to the problems of the infrastructure in the disaster-hit area.

The conceptual designs to deal with the two dangerous gullies that were at the centre of the disaster which cost more than 13 lives date back to the 1980s and need to be updated after the disaster. The plans were revised in 2006, but for the past 30 years, the state has not found a way to finance them.

Portnih said that a statement of costs already incurred and regarding urgent emergency work had already been sent to the joint committee on reconstruction and support at the cabinet office.

Local media said that in 2011, the municipality of Varna had failed to apply for EU funding for cleaning and strengthening of the gullies.

On July 8, municipal officials began paying benefits to 405 households affected by the June 19 floods. Each family will get 300 leva from the municipal budget.

Municipal reports say that the downpour and floods damaged 513 residential buildings, either houses or apartment blocks. More than 600 people were evacuated from 148 buildings.

Seventy buildings have been demolished. In all, about 2000 people were affected by the floods, according to official estimates.



The Sofia Globe staff

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