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Severe flooding kills at least 6 in Slovenia after one month’s worth of rain in 10 hours

Severe flooding kills three in Slovenia after a month's rain falls in one day f

At least 6 people have died in Slovenia due to severe flooding after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in just 10 hours on August 4, 2023. The catastrophic event caused evacuations, cut off roads, flooded buildings, and prompted the prime minister to describe the situation as ‘catastrophic.’ The floods could be the biggest since Slovenia’s independence in 1991.

Severe flooding resulted in at least three fatalities in Slovenia on August 4, 2023, after parts of the country recorded more than 200 mm (8 inches) of rainfall in just 10 hours — which is more than the region registers during the entire month of August.

The country’s environment agency issued the highest “red alert” — leading to flood alert sirens sounding off in major cities like Ljubljana, Maribor, and Celje.

Around 4 000 people, approximately one-tenth of Celje’s population, were ordered to evacuate as the Savinja River overflowed its banks. Upstream in Ljubno, the same river caused landslides and swept away houses. Tragically, two foreign tourists and a Slovenian woman died as a result of the storm, with the circumstances of their deaths still under investigation.

Prime Minister Robert Golob referred to the flooding as a record event, possibly the largest since Slovenia’s independence. The situation prompted him to close key freeways and rail lines that connect Ljubljana with the northern part of the country, rendering some villages inaccessible. Power cuts affected 16 000 households, and bridges and several homes were damaged.

Defence Minister Marjan Sarec highlighted the seriousness of the situation, and the army joined rescue and fire teams to provide aid. Road blockages and landslides further impeded access to central towns such as Skofja Loka, where over 100 buildings were flooded, including a sports hall. Helicopters were deployed for evacuations, and the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief registered over 1 000 weather-related incidents within a 12-hour period.

The heavy rainfall also extended to parts of southern Austria, with emergency services working diligently in the districts of Carinthia, Styria, and southern Burgenland. In the southern Carinthian village of Sankt Paul im Lavanttal, residents were urged to seek high ground and avoid basements and bridges. The Völkermarkt district, near the border of Slovenia, was particularly affected, leading to disruptions in local roads and the loss of electricity for around 4,000 households on the morning of August 5, 2023.


The death toll has risen to at least 6. The storm left at least 500 million Euros worth of property damage.

Prime Minister Golob said this became ‘the worst natural disaster ever to hit’ the country.

“There’s incredible damage around the country, ” the Environmental Agency spokesperson said Monday, after confirming that a month’s worth of rain fell in less than a day.


1 Three dead as torrential rain and heavy flooding strike Slovenia – AP – August 5, 2023

2 Slovenia, Austria floods leave 3 dead – DW – August 5, 2023

3 Slovenia floods kill at least six in ‘worst natural disaster to ever hit’ the country, says PM – CNN – August 7, 2023

Featured image credit: Neurje.si (stillshot)

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