Essential services being restored in worst affected parts of Koroška

Črna na Koroškem, 7 August - A massive flood relief effort is under way throughout the country on Monday, the first dry day since Friday. Essential services are also being restored in Črna na Koroškem, a town in the north of the country that has taken the brunt of the devastating floods.

Ravne na Koroškem
The aftermrth of floods in Ravne na Koroškem, north.
Photo: STA

Črna na Koroškem
Soldiers help in flood relief effort in Črna na Koroškem, a town that had been cut off for three days.
Photo: Slovenian Armed Forces

An emergency headquarters set up in the town after a makeshift gravel road was established for vital supplies in Sunday said that electricity had since been restored to parts of the municipality, which has a population of some 3,300. Healthcare has also been re-established.

A hundred members of the Slovenian Armed Forces, hundred firefighters and many volunteers have headed to the town to help in the clean-up and flood relief effort, the emergency headquarters announced on Monday.

The headquarters comprises representatives of civil protection, medical staff, mountain rescuers, firefighters and other staff.

They said utility teams had restored power through the entire town of Črna, while some helmets remain cut off.

Efforts are under way in Črna to repair the riverbeds of the Meža and one of the tributaries, which were flooding Črna and the surrounding areas for more than two days. Building machinery teams are also removing debris from roads.

A medical unit at the Črna Community Health Centre is open round the clock.

Work is under way to restore road links and water supply throughout the northern Koroška region. Many companies in the region remain closed and many roads are unpassable, as dozens of landslides loom.

In Prevalje the main concern is to restore water supply as the water pipes are broken in several parts. Mayor Matic Tasič told the STA they had asked the army to provide two pontoon bridges to which a pipeline could be attached.

They will also try to get portable toilets, in particular for people in apartment blocks. The mayor expressed concern about the impact of the situation on public health.

In Mežica, flood waters destroyed all eight bridges, only one is passable conditionally, Mayor Mark Maze told the STA.

Landslides are still threatening several houses, while the mayor described the damage to road and utility infrastructure and to businesses as disastrous. He hopes for a bridge to be set up to the right bank of the Meža River so that companies such as Cablex-M and Ferolin "can salvage what can still be salvaged".

In Dravograd more than 250 people had to be evacuated due to a looming landslide. They expect assistance with heavy machinery from Postojna today, but water supply in the municipality has been restored.

Power is being restored throughout Koroška, which was severely devastated by flooding. Elektro Celje, the utility covering the region and the broader area around Celje, said most of the homes remain without power in the upper Savinja Valley.

In the area covered by Elektro Ljubljana, most households remain without power in the area of Kamnik, north of Ljubljana, and Zidani Most, east of Ljubljana.

Even if the rain stopped late on Sunday, firefighters were deployed for the fourth night in various parts of the country to help people threatened by floods or landslides, mostly in Koroška and the Pomurje region in the north-east.

Data from the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration shows that 62 fire brigades were on the ground dealing with the consequences of heavy rain, strong gusts of wind and hail and the aftermath of the massive flooding.

Flood waters persist along the rivers Mura, Drava and Sava. Hydrologist Janez Polajnar said on Sunday that the levees on the Mura needed to resist for another day to prevent a disaster.

Due to the soggy ground, landslides will remain a major risk for a while longer. Many were triggered on Sunday, in particular in Koroška and the Savinja Valley.

© STA, 2023