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Cablegate: Declaration of Disaster - Romania

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

271437Z Apr 05

UNCLAS BUCHAREST 001031

SIPDIS

FOR AID/OFDA: ROBERT ANDREW, ALEX MAHONEY
AID/E&E/ECA: NSTUDZINSKI, SBERRY
RSC/DIR: JKIRKLAND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID RO
SUBJECT: DECLARATION OF DISASTER - ROMANIA


1. SUMMARY: In response to heavy damage caused by recent
storms and floods, the Embassy hereby declares that a state
of disaster exists in seven counties located mainly in the
West and South-Western parts of Romania and requests $50,000
to be provided to assist in the relief effort. END SUMMARY

2. During April 21-24, 2005, heavy rains and floods struck
seven counties in Romania. The Ministry of Environment and
Water Management reported that floods damaged more than
3,700 houses in 175 communities and destroyed about 43,000
hectares of crops. Also, 339 bridges were destroyed and 340
kilometers of county roads became inaccessible. As a
result, many areas are left without potable water and
electricity. Roads and railroads are also flooded,
especially near the border with Serbia-Montenegro. One
person lost her life and 3,350 were evacuated from their
homes.

3. The storms have imposed an excessive burden on the
Government of Romania (GOR) and we anticipate that the
disaster will have a significant negative impact on the
economy of the devastated counties. The most severely
affected counties are Arad, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara,
Mehedinti, Suceava, and Timis. A preliminary estimate of the
losses ranges from ROL 500 billion to 700 billion (USD 18 -
25 million). In Timis, the most affected county, the state
of alert was declared yesterday.

4. The GOR is providing food, water, sleeping bags, tents,
and medicines in the affected communities, but the basic
requirements are far beyond the capacity of the local
emergency services. The GOR's ability to meet most
immediate needs is extremely limited. USG funding is
requested to help to compensate by providing urgently needed
assistance, especially to those families whose dwellings
have been totally destroyed and who are now evacuated from
their homes.

5. Ms. Lucia Ana Varga, Secretary of State, Ministry of
Environment and Water Management, has written to the USAID
Director requesting emergency disaster assistance for the
people living in the worst affected areas.

6. I, therefore, declare that a state of disaster exists
in the Arad, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Mehedinti,
Suceava, and Timis counties which are affected by the heavy
rains and floods.

7. For OFDA: Embassy requests $50,000 be allotted
telegraphically to USAID, as authorized in OFDA Disaster
Assistance Guidance, to initiate an intervention in support
of the victims affected by floods. Please direct fund
citation to RSC/RFMO Budapest and USAID/Romania.

8. USG assistance will be focused primarily in the Foeni
and Otelec communes, located in Timis county. Commodities
will also be supplied to other severely affected communities
of Timis and Caras-Severin counties. We anticipate that
around 1,250 people will receive direct assistance.

9. We plan to use the USAID funds to procure emergency
relief commodities consisting of water, personal hygiene
kits, food supplies, well water purification kits, and
portable gas stoves. The assistance will be coordinated with
county authorities.

10. Our plan is to procure the services of World Vision to
provide the emergency assistance. World Vision has
successfully implemented similar humanitarian assistance for
USAID/Romania during the past three years.
DELARE

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