Press Advisories

7. 7. 2009 10:00

June floods 2009

Záplavy, červen 2009 / June floods 2009
Záplavy, červen 2009 / June floods 2009
On Thursday 25th of June, extensive flash floods hit Moravia. Hundreds of people lost a roof over their heads, many persons were reported missing. Three days later fierce thunderstorms and torrential rains afflicted also South Bohemia, causing damage of the same magnitude as in Moravia.

As flash floods are unpredictable, issuing an advance warning for the population was impossible. A state of menace was declared in the South Bohemian towns of Písek, Prachatice, Strakonice, Vodňany and Vimperk, and in Nový Jičín, Bílovec, Odry, Kopřivnice and Frenštát pod Radhoštěm in the Moravian-Silesian Region. In South Bohemia it has been extended till 17th July, in Moravia-Silesia till 24th July.

The Government reacted to the situation flexibly. Still on 25th June Prime Minister Jan Fischer convened an extraordinary session of the State Security Council, at which steps were agreed for providing immediate aid to the population of the afflicted areas. The State Security Council released one thousand soldiers to help with removing the consequences of the floods. Different government departments are providing assistance within their respective jurisdiction.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has published an overview of the kinds of support which people hit by the floods can claim. The relief measures are extraordinary and implemented without delay. The level of this one-off support is determined with respect to the property and income situation of individual persons or groups of persons whose means are assessed collectively. In case of individuals it can reach up to fifteen-times the subsistence level, i.e. 46 890 CZK.

The Ministry of the Interior has published information on psychological and social assistance provided by psychologists and crisis centres in individual regions. People can use a distress telephone line and personal psychological counselling.

The Ministry of Health has offered to defray the costs connected with analyses of the quality of water in the flooded areas. Regional Hygienic Station constantly monitor the sources of drinking water and the reserves of vaccines against A-type hepatitis.

The Ministry of Finance has published a list of recommendations for municipalities. Municipalities can apply for a change of the definition of the purposes for which grants earmarked for reconstruction works may be used, and for a postponement of the payment of loan instalments. The first phase of relief aid for the afflicted areas is currently under way. The Ministry of Finance has released funds from the budget reserve earmarked for use in crisis situations. Of the total amount of 54 million CZK, 24 million is to go to the Moravian-Silesian Region, 12 million to the Olomouc Region, 10 million to the Zlín Region, and 8 million to the South Bohemian Region. This funding is designed especially for demolition works, clearance of debris, basic safety measures etc.

Together with the Government of the Czech Republic, the Finance Ministry is now drafting a plan for the second phase of relief aid, i.e. the regeneration of the affected areas, and continues looking for further financial resources to be used for covering the costs of removing the consequences of the floods. Apart from the state budget, insurance companies or regional budgets will contribute their shares, too.

Following the extraordinary session of the State Security Council on Thursday 25th June, the Prime Minister expressed his sorrow for the victims of the tragic event and his sympathy to the people in the flooded regions. He assured the public that the situation was under control, the supply of drinking water and electricity was ensured, and people whose homes had been seriously damaged or ruined would be provided with replacement housing and basic care.

Mr. Fischer confirmed that the State Security Council had released up to one thousand soldiers to be sent to the afflicted regions, where – as Minister of Defence Martin Barták pointed out, they would mainly help with removing the consequences of the floods, because they coped well with the tasks fulfilled by the integrated rescue system.

Minister of Health Dana Jurásková informed that the Regional Hygienic Stations had been activated, to monitor particularly the sources of drinking water and the reserves of vaccines against type A hepatitis.

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