Ukraine has declared its flooding a national disaster. Making the most of a sunny dry spell, President Viktor Yushchenko visited the Ivano-Frankivsk southwestern rural region.
More than 20 people have been killed in Ukraine’s floods. The Emergencies Ministry said at least six of the dead were children. Homes and farms have been destroyed, along with bridges, and many roads are unusable. Tens of thousands of people have had to seek alternative shelter.
It is the region’s worst flooding in a century. One of Europe’s poorest countries, Moldova, is in the same boat. After five days of rain, the Prut and Dnestr rivers remain dangerously high. Neighbouring Romania said four people died in the northeast, and that others were still missing.
Although meteorologists are forecasting a dry spell, the Romanian authorities say water flowing from Ukraine could still cause considerable damage.
Towns and villages in six counties were left without electricity. Meanwhile, food is being distributed, and more than 4,000 police and soldiers are reinforcing dams with sandbags. Each country is holding meetings to decide how relief funds will be allocated.