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Disasters

Working Across Borders to Improve Early Warnings in South Eastern Europe

Daniel Werner Kull's picture

A massive storm system brought historic flooding across South Eastern Europe in 2014, causing more than $2 billion in damages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and shrinking Serbia’s economy by nearly a full percent. Two years later, in August 2016, thunderstorms in the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia dropped 93 liters of precipitation per square meter in just a few hours, sparking flash floods in the capital, Skopje, that killed at least 21 people.
 
In both cases, some of these impacts could have been reduced by improving cross-border monitoring and forecasting while strengthening early warning services at a national level. Fortunately, governments are now working together to improve information exchanges across boundaries and strengthening regional early warning systems through the South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System.

On shaky ground: Housing in Europe and Central Asia

Ashna Mathema's picture
Also available in: Русский
Housing in ECA


















The social, political, and economic transition of countries across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia over the last three decades has been a long and arduous process, and many challenges remain. Among them, an imminent concern is the seismic threat faced by certain housing typologies that are believed to have outlived their design lifespan, and suffer from serious deterioration and disinvestment.

Celebrating 85 years of Civil Protection in Romania to thank those who save lives, alleviate suffering and protect livelihoods

Tatiana Proskuryakova's picture
Also available in: Română

 
Romania recently celebrated 85 years of civil protection. In our day-to-day lives, we rarely pause to think of the decisive role played by civil protection agencies. But as soon as disaster strikes, these dedicated men and women lead efforts to save lives, protect livelihoods, and alleviate suffering. Your rescuer of the day may be a police officer directing evacuation, a volunteer providing first aid and shelter, a paramedic treating injuries, a weather forecaster providing timely advisories, or a local official coordinating actions. In other words, a well-functioning civil protection system is a diverse ecosystem of people and agencies - all with a clear and valuable role to play.

This was not always the case.

Sărbătorim 85 de ani de Protecţie Civilă în România, pentru a mulţumi celor care salvează şi protejează vieţi, şi uşurează suferinţa

Tatiana Proskuryakova's picture
Also available in: English


România a sărbătorit recent 85 ani de protecţie civilă. În viaţa de zi cu zi, rareori ne oprim pentru a reflecta asupra rolului decisiv jucat de agențiile de protecţie civilă. Dar imediat ce se produce un dezastru, aceşti oameni dedicaţi se află în fruntea eforturilor de salvare de vieţi omeneşti, de protecţie şi de uşurare a suferinţei. Salvatorul zilei poate fi un ofițer de poliţie care coordonează operaţiunile de evacuare sau voluntari care oferă prim ajutor şi adăpost, paramedici care îngrijesc rănile, meteorologii care oferă la timp informaţii despre fenomenele meteo sau autorităţile locale care coordonează diverse operaţiuni de salvare. Cu alte cuvinte, un sistem de protecţie civilă bine pus la punct reprezintă de fapt un ecosistem divers ce reuneşte oameni şi instituţii şi care joacă un rol foarte important.

Proaktivan pristup u hvatanju ukoštac sa klimatskim ekstremima u Srbiji

Darko Milutin's picture
Also available in: English | Русский


Žestok i dugotrajni talas vrućina je ovog leta pogodio dobar deo centralne Evrope, uzrokujući deformacije šina na prugama u Srbiji i primoravajući najmanje 10 zemalja da proglase crveni meteoalarm zbog opasnosti po zdravlje stanovništva i štednje vode. Nekada retka neprijatnost, ekstremne vremenske pojave kao što je ova postaju sve uobičajenije u čitavom regionu – i sve opasnije.

Ovi izazovi su podstakli Vladu Srbije da tokom poslednjih nekoliko godina usvoji aktivan pristup građenju otpornosti na klimatske rizike i rizike od katastrofa.

Taking a proactive approach to climate extremes in Serbia

Darko Milutin's picture
Also available in: Српски | Русский

A severe and prolonged heat wave stifled much of Central Europe this summer, buckling train tracks in Serbia and forcing at least 10 countries to issue red alerts for health concerns and water conservation. Once a rare nuisance, extreme weather events like this are becoming more commonplace throughout the region – and more dangerous.

These challenges have prompted the government of Serbia to take a proactive approach to building resilience to climate and disaster risks over the last few years.

Assessing disaster risk in Europe and Central Asia – what did we learn?

Alanna Simpson's picture
Heavy rains on June 13-14, 2015 caused a 1 million cubic-meter landslide to flow down the Vere River valley and damage the capital city of Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Across the Europe and Central Asia region today, policymakers are confronted daily with a wide range of development challenges and decisions, but the potential impacts of adverse natural events and climate change – such as earthquakes or flooding – may not always be first and foremost in their thoughts.

Admittedly, the region does not face the same daunting disaster risks as some other parts of the world – especially in South Asia, East Asia and Latin America – but nevertheless, it is far from immune to the effects of natural hazards – as the past clearly reminds us.

Risk in Vienna City Hall

Joaquin Toro's picture
 
The Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) is one of the landmarks of the Austrian Capital. Visitors are amazed by its Gothic architecture and magnificent interiors - which are famous for hosting lavish events and balls. However, perhaps in direct contrast to these types of events, the Wappensaal of the Rathaus hosted the first ever Understanding Risk Austria event.

Where in the 18th century these halls hosted the Viennese bourgeoisie, in January these halls now received disaster risk management professionals, decision makers, policy makers, technical institutions, and representatives from the private sector, NGOs and academic institutions from around Austria to discuss disaster risk management issues in the country.

This demonstration of support for GFDRR and the Understanding Risk brand was an important step in further integrating the rich experience of DRM that Austria offers the global UR community.
 

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