Rainfalls have played havoc across Romania in June, dubbed as the rainiest month of June in the past 60 years. Hundreds of households have been flooded by the recent rainfalls in Moldavia and Transylvania in almost 100 localities. Three people died after having been taken by floods, while a 4-year-old girl from Sibiu who had fallen in the river crossing the town is still being searched. A red code for floods have been enforced in Bistrița-Năsăud, Suceava and Maramureș counties, northern country. Rivers in most part of Romania are under a code orange alert for floods for two more days.
The 4yo girl who is missing was playing with her friends on the bank of Cibin river and she apparently fell into the water. Search operations are difficult as the river is raging following recent rainfalls.
According to the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, three people died after having been taken by the floods, 71 people have been evacuated and almost 400 houses and 600 courtyards have been flooded. Floods have affected 161 localities in 29 counties so far.
The Romanian meteorology officials said this month can be among the rainiest months of June since 1961 until now, probably in the top five rainiest June.
There is also a record on severe weather alerts delivered by the weathermen. 20 alerts have been sent through the RO-ALERT system in 12 counties.
Several national roads in Moldavia and Transylvania were blocked today due to floods, while in Alba county five railway routes are halted after the flood-wave.
On Monday, torrential rains have wreaked havoc in 19 counties: Arad, Alba, Argeș, Bacău, Bihor, Botoșani, Brașov, Caraș-Severin, Hunedoara, Harghita, Ilfov, Mureș, Neamț, Satu Mare, Suceava, Timiș, Tulcea, Vâlcea and Vrancea. The most affected counties are Alba, Bihor, Caraș-Severin, Harghita, Mureș, Neamț and Suceava, according to the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations.
Firefighters have taken water from 171 houses, 286 courtyards and 98 basements.
In a village in Vaslui, a 77-year-old woman was taken by the flood on Monday afternoon. She was found dead on Tuesday morning.
In Aiud, Alba county an entire family – two adults and a 9-month baby- was evacuated from a flooded household.
People were also evacuated in Oravita, Caras-Severin county, but also from villages in Botosani county.
Also in Botosani, the flood caught a car, with the four passengers being trapped in the vehicle. The firemen’s intervention was needed to take them out of the car.
President Klaus Iohannis: What we see today is the effect of climate change
President Klaus Iohannis has sent a message on Wednesday amid the authorities’ struggle to cope with the effects of recent floods in Romania, saying that what we see today is the consequence of climate change, while urging for long term projects to reduce these effects and to protect Romanians against floods.
He conveyed condolences to the grieving families who lost their members.
“Unfortunately, floods with serious consequences are frequently occurring in Romania and we must be better prepared to manage them. Solutions do exist and they will have to be enforced. What we see now is the consequence of the increasing climate change and of ignoring these dangers for years (…)
A rapid change of approach is crucial to be able to efficiently tackle such situations of this magnitude. We’ll have to overcome the mentality that it’s enough to build some dams to stop floods. Dams are not enough“, said the head of state, while reminding that forestation campaigns and preserving forests are good solutions as well.
Iohannis said that a significant part of the EU funds allotted to Romania for the next budget exercise 2021-2027 must be directed to projects to counter climate change, the so-called the Green Deal Package proposed by the European Commission.