Widespread flash flooding hit the Upper Nitra region yesterday evening, following several hours of torrential downpour. The floods also claimed the life of one man in Handlova as he tried to rescue his car, and one railway worker from Prievidza who was clearing trees at the time is still missing.
The nearby region surrounding Ziar nad Hronom was also inundated, including a predominantly Roma neighbourhood called Pod Kortinou, from where 16 Roma had to be evacuated.
More than 640 soldiers with 60 engineering vehicles are on standby to aid civilians in Slovakia affected by the ongoing floods, announced spokesman of the Slovak Armed Forces, Milan Vanga. “In total, there are some 70 soldiers in the field, and others are on standby if required” said Defence Minister Lubomir Galko, who set off yesterday in person to visit the flooded areas, as did his coalition colleague, Interior Minister Daniel Lipsic.
One of the task of the army is to use specialised equipment to deepen river beds. Flooding looks set to become a regular part of daily life and now the focus should be on finding long-term measures to prevent, mitigate and deal with such flooding.