Črna na Koroškem finally accessible by makeshift gravel road

Črna na Koroškem, 6 August - The town of Črna na Koroškem is no longer cut off from the rest of Slovenia after it was hit by devastating floods, with the relevant services having managed to secure a temporary gravel road from the direction of Šoštanj. It is now possible for off-road and rescue vehicles to access the town in northern Slovenia.

Črna na Koroškem
The swollen Meža River flooding the town of Črna na Koroškem in northern Slovenia.
Photo: STA

The temporary gravel road will be used for evacuation efforts and for providing urgent supplies, the Government Communication Office told the STA on Sunday.

According to the locals, it is possible to access Mežica, to the north and downstream the swollen Meža river, from parts of Črna na Koroškem, although the road is in poor condition. From there on, the way forward is possible via Austria for now.

"The news of the day is that ... a way to Črna has been secured," regional Civil Protection commander Alan Matijevič told the STA, adding that machinery was removing consequences of landslides and deepening the bed of the Meža River.

The planned evacuation of some 110 people due to landslide risk has been called off, and some 200 people who had been evacuated from nearby villages for the same reason were able to return to their homes around 5pm.

Matijevič added that the main road between Mežica and Prevalje, some five kilometres north-east, is still badly damaged, so rescue services can access the area only by means of secondary roads.

The 104 people who were evacuated from Mežica on Saturday were able to return to their homes today. The situation in the municipality is still serious, and all units are on the ground to help pump out water from buildings and distribute food.

Matijevič said that the watercourses in the entire region were calming down, but that there was still a lot of work to be done by the duty teams on the ground.

Local teams had four helicopters at their disposal in the morning, which were used, after evacuations had been called off, to transport food and other goods, including a telephone with a satellite connection to Črna na Koroškem.

Prevalje Mayor Matija Tasič told the STA that the biggest problem for the whole of Koroška is the shortage of drinking water. The water supply has been broken in two places where it crosses the Meža, and the water supply system is completely polluted.

Matijevič added that almost 70 soldiers and almost 750 firefighters were still active in the region. In addition to 450 local firefighters, the number includes 300 firefighters from Ljubljana and the region of Bela Krajina in the south.

© STA, 2023