Croatia Floods: Worst Seems to be Over, Situation Under Control

Katarina Anđelković

Updated on:

Igor Soban / PIXSELL

May 18, 2023 – The fight against the Croatia floods is ongoing, but the situation seems to be under control. During the night, it was the most difficult in Karlovac and Hrvatska Kostajnica, where a state of emergency is in effect for the rivers Korana, Kupa, and Una, said Tomislav Novosel from the Main Center for Flood Defense in Croatia.

As Index writes, prime Minister Andrej Plenković will visit Karlovac and hold a working meeting with ministers, the local community, and competent services on further activities of all components of the homeland security and civil protection system to help the population and prevent damage due to rising water levels. After the meeting, the Civil Protection Headquarters will make statements to the media and tour the surrounding areas.

The Directorate of Civil Protection announced last night that the situation in Karlovac County is serious but under control. All services are constantly on the ground, building embankments, filling additional sandbags, and distributing them to threatened areas.

The peak of the water wave was around midnight for Kupa and Korana and around 10, 11 pm for Una.

The wave in Karlovac reached 840 cm in 2 hours, the third-largest water wave since 1926. The first one was in 1939, only about 20 cm higher than this one. The Una reached 499 cm in Hrvatska Kostajnica; it is currently declining and has dropped by about 20 cm compared to midnight and its highest water wave, Novosel told Hrvatski radio.

“In the next 24 hours, we expect Kupa and Korana in Karlovac to drop by about half a meter. The weather is calming down today and tomorrow, which will help the situation to calm down on the field as well”, he added.

The water level is decreasing in Hrvatska Kostajnica

The mayor of Hrvatska Kostajnica, Dalibor Bišćan, said that the water levels in the area are somewhat decreasing, but not the bypass waters, and they continue to work.

“After the extraordinary measures, there was a state of emergency caused by the high water levels, seepage through the ground, and bypass water that came into the streets, but what we successfully did in the fight itself was to reduce the water level in the streets compared to the water level in the river Una,” said Bišćan for Croatian Radio.

Throughout the night, crews from volunteer firefighting companies, the Croatian Army, and subcontractors of Croatian Waters worked on replenishment, that is, monitoring the operation of the pumps themselves. At the moment, we have a slight decrease in the water level, he added.

We can say, pointed out Bišćan, “there is no tendency for these bypass waters to decrease, so we continue to work so that there is no increase again in the streets because we see that heavy rainfall causes a slight accumulation, that is, seepage, and a further inflow of water, only not from the river, but from the surrounding hills or higher terrain,” said the mayor of Hrvatska Kostajnica.

He noted that he hopes the worst is over but added, “This is still half a meter higher than the situation that we can call extraordinary measures, so we have several days of fighting and maintenance ahead of us because the drop is 1 cm”.

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