Flash flood-related casualties jump to 6 in Slovenia

Flash flood-related casualties jump to 6 in Slovenia

2 more bodies found as EU, NATO step up assistance

UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT, EDITS THROUGHOUT

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - Two more bodies were found on Monday, taking the number of people killed in devastating floods in Slovenia to at least six.

The latest deaths occurred over the weekend when a man was killed when he fell during the floods and another was found floating in the swollen Temenica River, according to the national Slovenian Press Agency (STA).

Slovenia's Prime Minister Robert Golob said on Saturday the damage caused by flash floods, which began on Friday, is likely to exceed €500 million ($549 million) as the country is facing the "worst natural disaster" in its history.

Floods caused rivers to rise and break out into fields and towns, leading to the destruction of roads and infrastructure. Flash floods were also reported in neighboring Austria.

Golob visited some of the affected areas on Sunday and said the country had already requested assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as neighboring countries.


- EU, NATO assistance

To assist Slovenia in dealing with flood damage, France will send two excavators with engineering units, and Germany will also provide support by sending two prefabricated bridges, two excavators, and necessary personnel, the European Commission said.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service of the EU has produced several maps of the affected areas, the commission said, adding that a liaison officer from the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is already present on site.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Europe is by the side of all the people affected by devastating floods in Slovenia, as well as Austria.

"We will support you in this difficult moment," she said, adding that she will travel to Slovenia on Wednesday "to witness on the ground the destruction caused by the floods and discuss EU support."

After talking with Golob over the phone, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said allies have stepped up support by providing helicopters, modular bridges, and engineering expertise.

Hans Kluge, regional director of the World Health Organization, extended his condolences to Slovenia amid devastating floods. "Once-erratic weather patterns are the new normal in the Europe region," he said. "We’re supporting countries in tackling #ClimateCrisis health impacts."

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