Three people were killed in Slovenia as the southern European nation was hit by the worst flooding in decades, with rapidly rising waters submerging towns in the country’s north.
(Bloomberg) — Three people were killed in Slovenia as the southern European nation was hit by the worst flooding in decades, with rapidly rising waters submerging towns in the country’s north.
Floods will “probably cause the greatest damages by natural disasters in the history of independent Slovenia,” Prime Minister Robert Golob said at a press conference in Ljubljana late Friday. Slovenia will accept aid offered from neighboring countries and Brussels, added Golob, who returned early from vacation to asses the damage.
The Slovenian Environment Agency declared the highest alert for the majority of the country on Friday, as thousands of Slovenians were left without electricity and drinking water. Heavy rain was expected to continue through Saturday and spread across the nation of 2.1 million, with flooding set to hit neighboring Croatia over the weekend.
Three people died according to latest available information, reported State news agency STA.
“These are not 500-year floods, these are 1,000-year floods,” Roman Koncilija, the head of rescue operations in the inundated town of Komenda north of the capital Ljubljana, told news outlet N1. Meteorologist Branko Gregorcic told reporters that some recordings registered the highest rainfall levels since measurements began.
Homes, roads, bridges, industrial zones and offices were damaged or destroyed. Hundreds were evacuated, including by boat and helicopter as homes were submerged and landslides threatened. Tourists from several campsites in the country’s north were rescued.
Work was halted in a BSH Hisni aparati plant that produces Bosch home appliances in the northern town of Nazarje, Chief Executive Bostjan Gorjup told the STA newswire. The factory floor is under 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water, he said.
The heavy rain triggered rapid swelling of the Sava and Drava rivers, both of which flow to Croatia, hydrologist Janez Polajnar said at a press conference in Ljubljana, adding that flooding will approach or even exceed record levels.
“Projected water levels are worrisome,” Polajnar said.
Flooding also inundated communities in southern Austria to Slovenia’s north overnight, particularly in the region of Carinthia.
(Updates number of fatalities in 1st graph, adds PM quote in 2nd graph)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.