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Flood-hit CEE countries ask EU, NATO for aid

| 2023-08-07 < 1 min read

Flood-hit CEE countries ask EU, NATO for aid

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Slovenia and Austria were the worst hit countries by the severe floods that swept over Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) over the weekend.

As thousands evacuated their homes and four died in Slovenia, the country asked for help from the EU and NATO. In Austria, one person died after falling into a river.

The floods began on Friday, started to ease on Saturday, and on Sunday Slovenia asked the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide it with elevators, bridges, special vehicles and engineering teams. It also asked NATO for five military helicopters with at least five tons of load capacity, and 200 soldiers.

Golob – ‘worst disaster in years

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob said the floods had caused around half a billion euros in damage. Golob called the floods the worst natural disaster in Slovenia’s recent history.

Speaking after Saturday’s National Security Council meeting, he said the catastrophe has affected two-thirds of the country, leading to the collapse of at least three bridges. Roads were meanwhile left submerged under water severely impacting transportation and access to villages.

In Slovenia, three people were found dead on Friday while a fourth was reported dead on Saturday. Of the victims, two were Dutch climbers who died in the mountains near Kranj. According to the Netherlands Foreign Ministry, at least five Dutch citizens are missing.

Austria hit in the south

In the Austrian provinces of Carinthia and Styria, authorities evacuated several buildings, as the southern regions were hit by torrential rain, rising rivers and later in the weekend mudslides.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer tweeted on Sunday: “The storms and persistent heavy rain hit southern Austria hard. For the regions affected, the federal government is providing funds from the disaster fund. Prompt help is most important in such difficult situations”