IFRC: Europe fighting floods, wildfires simultaneously

Saturday, August 12, 2023


Europe has been fighting natural disasters in the form of floods and wildfires simultaneously, which are causing massive damage to forests and the loss of several lives, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Friday.

The Scandinavian region and particularly Norway are struggling with violent winds, downpours, and landslides due to Storm Hans, said Andreas von Weissenberg, the head of IFRC’s Regional Health, Disaster, Crises, and Climate Unit in Europe.

More than 5,000 people were evacuated in Hans-hit Norway, von Weissenberg said during the weekly news conference, adding that the Norway Red Cross has notified that this is a first-time situation with multiple emergencies occurring simultaneously.

Two-thirds of Slovenia was impacted by rains, he said, adding that the floods are the worst disaster Slovenia has known since its independence in 1991, which killed people, destroyed bridges, roads, and houses, causing approximately €500 million ($548.2 million) in damage.

Meanwhile, rains and landslides in northwestern Georgia have claimed the lives of 20 people, he added, while 1,400 people have been evacuated in Portugal, where wildfires have damaged 7,000 hectares (17,297 acres).

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