Bulgaria offers help to flood-hit Slovenia and Austria

Bulgaria has offered help to Slovenia and Austria to cope with the severe floods that have hit the two countries, the government information service said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov telephoned Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Slovenian PM Robert Golob on August 6, to say that Bulgaria expresses its full sympathy and solidarity with both countries and is ready to provide support according to the needs of the affected areas.

Torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding and damage in central Europe. People have died in Slovenia, and a state of emergency has been declared in some Austrian provinces.

An August 6 statement by the Slovenian government said that Golob, together with Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning Uroš Brežan and Commander of the Civil Protection of the Republic of Slovenia Srečko Šestan, visited the areas affected by the flood in three municipalities in the Gorenjska region – Škofja Loka, Radovljica and Medvode.

The situation in Škofja Loka is very worrying, as three valleys are still cut off from other parts of Slovenia, the Slovenian government statement said.

Following a meeting with the mayor of Škofja Loka, Tine Radinja, Golob said that he was on the ground to assess what else the government could do to help in the intervention.

He said that Slovenia had already requested assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to strengthen its forces. It had also requested assistance from the neighbouring countries.

“It is even more important that we are here today to set up an effective restoration. Intervention is well regulated. It is known who is responsible, how the intervention takes place and who provides resources,” Golob said.

Separately, on August 7, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that because of heavy rains in southern Austria, a state of emergency has been declared in the municipalities of Paldau, Bad Griechenberg, Gnas, Straden, Mureck, Leibnitz, Heimschuh, Kitzeck, Gamlitz, St. John, St. Veit and Neutschach. 

The ministry said that 2500 firefighters and army units had been mobilised. Field kitchens have been organised by the Red Cross.

“We advise Bulgarian citizens in Austria to avoid traveling to and through the above-mentioned affected areas at all costs,” the ministry said, adding that if motorists get stuck on motorways, they should stay there and not attempt to use secondary roads.

(Archive photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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