Record floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Serbia
To date, more than 4,000 people have been evacuated. Government sources are referring to the flooding as the biggest Serbian disaster in recent history.
In Serbia, 420 Red Cross staff and volunteers have assisted with evacuations in Valjevo and Lazarevac. To date, 820 blankets, 130 rubber boots and 4,430 meat cans have already been distributed in affected municipalities. The operation was hindered in some parts of the country due to broken bridges and inaccessible roads. The urgent distribution of ready-to-eat meals, drinking water, blankets, mattresses, cots, rubber boots, and hygiene items will continue over the weekend.
This is the third response operation that the Serbian Red Cross has been involved in this past year and as a result, resources are being stretched to the maximum.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, authorities have declared a state of emergency as hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in 14 municipalities, including Doboj, Maglaj, Brcko District, Olovo, Bijeljina, Lukavac, Kladanj, Srebrenica, Gradacac and Zvornik.
The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina delivered food parcels and drinking water on foot where the roads are blocked and also by jeep and boat. The national society will continue to provide daily meals and drinking water for the affected population.
In the northern part of Bosnia, Red Cross multi-purpose rescue teams, in cooperation with the Departments of Public Security, have set-up temporary accommodation for the people who were evacuated. In Brcko District, Red Cross teams have performed medical evaluations and have built sandbags for flood defence.
The worst floods were reported in the capital Sarajevo and Tuzla regions, in the central parts of the country, as well as in the cities of Gorazde and Bijeljina. More flooding continues to threaten other parts of the country, blocking the road access to some of the main cities.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has released funds through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund for both countries, which will be used to replenish stocks and to cover early recovery measures and materials.
So far, the Serbian Red Cross has assessed the need for materials and additional equipment for water drainage, dehumidifier assistance, and replenishment of its depleted emergency stock of blankets, mattresses, cots, rubber boots and food items.
The Red Cross has a global network of trained disaster response experts and pre-positioned emergency supplies ready to send as needed. This includes the Canadian Red Cross field hospital, which is on stand-by at all times thanks to a partnership with the Government of Canada.
The Canadian Red Cross is on stand-by with both personnel and supplies, including our field hospital, ready to be deployed quickly if requested.