UPDATED: MAY 18, 2021 AT 18:15

Burst reservoir in central Slovakia claims one life

The water also damaged about twenty cars, some were moved several dozens of metres.

(Source: TASR)

Heavy rainfall in Slovakia has claimed a life. The water reservoir in the village of Rudno nad Hronom in central Slovakia burst, killing one person on May 17.

Water flowed through the whole village and flooded the cellars of family houses, the TASR newswire reported. Firefighters have been on the scene, draining the water from flooded streets and cellars. From one house they had to save three people who could not get out on their own.

A strong stream of water swept away one person; firefighters found him without any signs of life.

The Mayor of the village Marián Šurjanský said that the water reservoir above the village breached. It was built in 2011 within anti-flood measures. It included a culvert, which was to release the water slowly so that the creek bed could slowly drain it, Šurjanský said, adding that the dam probably could not withstand the onslaught of water after the intense rainfall.

About twenty cars were also damaged and some were even taken several dozens of metres away by the water. On the evening of May 17, the mayor and firefighters on scene confirmed that the lives of the inhabitants of Rudno nad Hronom village are no longer in danger.

PM expressed condolences

PM Eduard Heger expressed condolences to the family and relatives of the victim. He said that the situation is critical.

“I am thinking of all of you who have been hit by the floods and have damaged houses or property,” Heger wrote on a social network. “I am in contact with the interior ministry, who is informing me about the development of the situation.”

Interior Minister Roman Mikulec also expressed condolences.

“I think of all the people who had to suddenly leave their homes, and at the same time, I thank and support firefighters who intervene in these moments,” Mikulec wrote on Facebook.

He added that firefighters had 60 interventions on Monday because of the weather. He believes that the flooding will calm down eventually.

PM promises financial aid

More than 50 police officers, firefighters, volunteer firefighters and 31 soldiers have been helping in the village.

PM Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) visited Rudno nad Hronom on May 18. He promised to help locals with removing damages caused by the flood, as well as financial aid.

“As soon as the mayor quantifies the damages, I will allocate funds from the prime minister's reserve so that we can help financially,” Heger said, as quoted by TASR.

The state will cooperate with the local authorities so that people can get back to their normal lives as soon as possible, he added.

Heger expressed sympathy to the family of the deceased former mayor, and thanked the inhabitants, volunteers and everybody involved in the rescue.

The prime minister does not think it will be possible to repair the damaged dam, which probably could not withstand huge amounts of water after the heavy rainfall. The representatives of the Slovak Water Management Company came to the spot to assess the situation and take follow-up steps, he confirmed.

Flooded hospital

The heavy rainfall continued on May 18 in some places across the country, particularly in the eastern regions where several warnings against floods have been issued.

Liptovský Mikuláš, Košice and some other municipalities declared the third degree of flood warning, which is the highest. Some roads in eastern Slovakia could not be used after flooding.

Strong rain also led to an emergency situation in the Banská Bystrica hospital, where the power went out after the deluge.

“Given the situation, it is not possible to provide health care in the building momentarily, and we had to move the entire ward to a new hospital compound,” the hospital stated, as quoted by TASR.

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