Bulgaria’s PM: Flood damage on southern coast is more than 30M leva, funding available

The damage from this week’s floods along the southern Black Sea coast and Strandzha is more than 30 million leva, which the state will be able to cover through the Disaster and Accident Response Fund, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov told Parliament on September 8.

Denkov denied criticism that the state had been tardy in its response and said that the state’s reaction had been immediate.

“The rain started during the night, and already in the morning there were 11 teams of the fire department, two teams of divers, who started to assist in the evacuation of people. There were also about 4000 tourists in addition to the residents. The main forces were directed to the evacuation of people, including children.”

Construction of a temporary bridge near Varvara began on September 7, Denkov said.

He said that the Bulgarian military had been on the ground since the first day of the disaster.

“A high-terrain vehicle was used to transport food and water. The Social Assistance Agency has been on site since the first day and they have been going around the houses since the second day. Inspections have already been done. It is possible to apply for up to 2500 leva”.

“Currently, electricity has been restored everywhere in the affected regions. Water supply has also been restored everywhere. The treatment plant in Tsarevo is working. The water is still not of the required quality to be used for drinking, but drinking water is provided everywhere,” Denkov said.

He said that the walls of two dams in Tsarevo municipality had not been broken – in contrast to claims on social networks – but need repair as a result of the disaster. There was no water leaking from them, he said.

“Today, an interdepartmental commission will be formed – to ascertain the reasons. Three of the four victims were due to the collapse of the bridge in Tsarevo, experts must say why it collapsed”.

The inter-agency commission must also say whether deforestation in the area contributed to the disaster.

“On October 13 2022, the Cabinet received a report that there were 360 river sections with reduced river conductivity. Seven of them are in Tsarevo municipality.”

Denkov said that funding provided by the caretaker government in December 2022 and April 2023 had covered only 10 of the 360 river sections mentioned in the report, with only one in Tsarevo municipality.

Bulgarian National Television said on September 8 that the bridge on the main road between Tsarevo and Ahtopol had been completely destroyed by the heavy rains and flooding, and would be temporarily replaced by a pontoon bridge.

(Photo: government.bg)

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