Many foreign tourists affected by floods

Ljubljana, 9 August - It is unclear how many foreign tourists have been affected by the devastating floods that hit Slovenia over the weekend, but considering that the summer tourist season was peaking, the numbers are thought to be high. Several embassies have expressed gratitude to the rescue services for the aid provided to their citizens.

Some embassies have told the STA that they had been getting phone calls from their citizens vacationing in Slovenia, as well as their concerned family members. Many calls were about damaged cars or camping equipment, as well as inquiries about the situation on the ground.

Gratitude to the rescue and other services was expressed by the embassies of Austria, Czechia, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

Two Dutch citizens were among the six casualties so far known to have been claimed by the storms. They are believed to have been struck by lightning in the Julian Alps as the first storms were rolling in.

Five more Dutch citizens were reported missing in Slovenia to the Dutch authorities, but not to the Slovenian police force. They were accounted for soon after.

The Dutch embassy told the STA today that according to its information there were no more Dutch nationals in need of assistance in Slovenia at the moment.

The embassy said that some 850 Dutch citizens had been in the Savinja Valley, one of the hardest-hit parts of the country, when the floods first hit. The majority returned home without requiring assistance from the embassy.

Moreover, the embassy said it had organised two bus transfers that took home some 100 Dutch citizens. The embassy has not received any distress calls since Monday.

The Austrian embassy said that the rescue services had evacuated on Saturday 23 of its citizens, of them 17 children, who had been camping in Rečica pri Savinji.

A number of Austrian citizens were also evacuated from a camp in Ljubno pri Savinji, while an Austrian man was airlifted on Sunday from Črna na Koroškem, which was completely cut off from the rest of the country.

The embassy said it had received some 50 calls requesting assistance by Tuesday afternoon, and had been informed about six damaged cars.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian embassy said assistance had been requested by 29 Hungarian nationals, while the French embassy said it had received phone calls from tourists who were in Slovenia at the time, as well as from their concerned family members at home.

The Polish embassy told the STA it continued to received inquiries, mostly about current vacation possibilities in Slovenia, roads and other infrastructure, and potable water. The embassy said it had also received messages from Polish citizens who had been evacuated.

The Czech embassy said it had received nearly 130 calls to its emergency phone number, mostly from people asking for assistance and advice on how to best return home. Citizens also reported damage to their cars and tents.

© STA, 2023