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A man looks at a house damaged during floods in Prevalje, Slovenia August 6, 2023.
A man looks at a house damaged during floods in Prevalje, Slovenia August 6, 2023. Copyright REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Copyright REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Copyright REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

In pictures: Slovenia faces ‘worst-ever natural disaster’ after extreme flooding

By Ally Wybrew
Published on
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Intense flooding in Slovenia which saw a month's worth of rain in 24 hours last week has been described as the country’s ‘worst-ever natural disaster’.

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At least four people have died and the resulting damage is estimated to be over €500 million.

The catastrophic weather saw almost a month’s worth of rainfall in 24 hours and has cut off roads and bridges, and swamped many buildings. Tens of thousands of homes have been left without electricity in an event damaging two-thirds of the country.

SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
A man looks on in the middle of a damaged street during a clean up in Godic near Kamnik after major flooding hit most of the country a couple of days ago.SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images

According to the Slovenian Prime Minister, Robert Golob: "The damage is unimaginable, as practically two-thirds of Slovenia is affected in one way or another, and the efforts to enable normal life again will be very great."

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes with many rescued by helicopters or firefighters in boats.

FEDJA GRULOVIC/REUTERS
A view of a damaged building in a flooded area, following heavy rains, in Prevalje, Slovenia.FEDJA GRULOVIC/REUTERS

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has promised help from the EU saying that the damage in Slovenia was “heartbreaking”. The Slovenian government has also asked NATO for assistance in the form of military helicopters and prefabricated bridges.

Extreme weather isn’t only affecting Slovenia

Slovenia’s next-door neighbour, Austria, has also been hit by swathes of intense rain. Last week one person died in Carinthia after falling into a river whose bank had been eroded.

REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic
People clean up mud from a road in the aftermath of floods in Prevalje, Slovenia.REUTERS/Borut Zivulovic

While some of central Europe is seeing extensive flooding, other parts of the continent are suffering from intense heat waves.

BORUT ZIVULOVIC/BORUT ZIVULOVIC
A bridge with debris is reflected on a mirror, in the aftermath of floods in Prevalje, Slovenia.BORUT ZIVULOVIC/BORUT ZIVULOVIC

At the same time, flash floods caused the deaths of 11 people in a landslide in Shovi, a mountain resort in Georgia. Around 200 people were also evacuated. 

SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
The headquarters of the Slovenian Mountain Rescue Service is destroyed in a flood in Kamnik.SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images

Rising temperatures have led to a slew of forest fires, including in Central-Western Portugal and the Spanish-French border, where residents have been evacuated.

SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
Tourists evacuated by a helicopter from flood-affected valleys arrive in Kamnik after major flooding hit most of the country a couple of days ago. Clean-up and rescue effortsSOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images

Fires have also broken out in the Greek islands as well as on the Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily.

SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
A man walks past a destroyed Mountain rescue Service vehicle in Kamnik after major flooding hit most of the country a couple of days ago.SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images
A destroyed bridge is seen in Stranje near Kamnik after major flooding hit most of the country a couple of days ago.SOPA Images/ Luka Dakskobler / SOPA Images

Even Ukraine is feeling the heat. More than 18.5 per cent of the country is covered in forests making it particularly partial to wildfires. It’s seen the most land burned between 2020 and 2022 of all EU countries. While this is partly due to climate change, a significant amount is down to the war with Russia.

BORUT ZIVULOVIC/BORUT ZIVULOVIC
A man walks past a destroyed Mountain rescue Service vehicle in Kamnik after major flooding hit most of the country a couple of days ago.BORUT ZIVULOVIC/BORUT ZIVULOVIC

Have you been affected by extreme weather? Share your story or thoughts with us via our social media channels.

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