Widespread floods across Europe

Days of heavy rainfall across Europe have led to severe flooding in parts of Hungary, Serbia, Spain and Kosovo. Footage from these locations showed streets and fields totally submerged.

Hungarians said the rain was unexpectedly high for this time of year, with one resident saying: ‘Floods have become a new tradition’.

A state of emergency was declared in the municipalities of Prijepolje, Sjenica, Novi Pazar, Brus, Tutin, Kuršumlija and Prokuplje in Serbia after flooding that began on January 18, 2023.

On January 19, Minister of Defence Milos Vucevic said that Serbian Army members are on the ground and that all the capacities of the Army have been placed at the disposal of affected communities.1

Serbian police reported at least 84 people had evacuated their homes because of the flooding, including 5 in Novi Pazar, 9 in Sjenica, 30 in Prijepolje, 24 in Priboj and 16 in Brus.

Water pumps and temporary flood defences were deployed in affected areas, the Ministry of Interior said. Heavy rain caused the Grabovica River to break its banks in Sjenica, with some residents evacuated on 18 January 2023. Buildings were damaged by flooding from the Lim river in Brodarevo.

Emergency teams said they were searching for 2 people who were missing after being swept away by floods while attempting to protect their homes.

The Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMZ) issued warnings of heavy rain in the region on January 15, with as much 150 mm (5.9 inches) of rain expected in some areas of southern Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Montenegro from January 17 to 18.

Heavy rain has also caused flooding in Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia, and Montenegro.

In northern Kosovo, authorities said parts of the town of Mitrovica have been flooded, forcing 120 families to evacuate their homes. Vehicles were left stranded after streets were flooded in the town of Skenderaj where local authorities declared a state of emergency. Local media also reported flooding in Vushtrria, Peja, and Decan.

The drinking water supply has been interrupted in several areas including the capital Pristina.

The Hydrometeorological Institute of Kosovo said, “As a result of the rain during the last few days, especially in the western, northwestern and northern parts of Kosovo, some rivers have presented rapid floods, which may have caused difficulties and problems, such as landslides, blockage of sewers and traffic difficulties, but also flooding of agricultural lands.”

In Albania, wide areas of agricultural land were underwater in Shkodër County. The Ministry of Defence, which is in charge of Albania’s civil protection, said the Buna river flooded around 275 ha (679 acres) of farmland in Muriqan and Oblikë. Landslides in the country have caused traffic problems. Local media also reported flooding blocked roads in parts of the Lezhë district.

Heavy rain caused rivers to overflow in northern Montenegro, where landslides were also reported. River levels were also high in Bosnia but as of January 19, no major incidents were reported by the Federal Administration of Civil Protection.

Floods and flood warnings during the 24 hours to early Monday morning, January 23 as reported by national services:

Albania: warning level 1/1 for Shkoder region.
Belarus: threshold level 1/1 on Pronya river.
Croatia: threshold level 2/4 on Sava, Lika, Kupa, Cesma, Odra, Retencija Lonjsko Pole, Kanal Obzev and Kanal Koševo-Vrbovci rivers.
Hungary: threshold level 2/3 on Tarna, Takta and Bodrog rivers.
Lithuania: warning level 2/3 for one coastal region in the west.
Poland: threshold level 2/2 for Lubelskie region.
Romania: warning level 2/3 for Olt river.
Serbia: threshold level 2/2 on Ibar river, 1/2 on Sava, Lim, Tamiš and Brzava rivers.
Slovakia: threshold level 2/3 on Latorica, Laborec and Bodrog rivers.
Spain: threshold 2/3 in Lugo region.
Sweden: warning level 2/3 in Orebro and Kalmar regions.
Ukraine: threshold level 2/3 on Borzhava, Dnipro, Desna and Latoritsa rivers.
United Kingdom: warning level 2/3 at 39 locations in England.


1 Serbia – Floods Leave 2 Missing, Dozens Evacuated – Floodlist – January 20, 2023

Featured image credit: The Guardian (stillshot)


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