Slovenia is facing floods and landslides that have disturbed transportation, caused blackouts, and led to the loss of lives and properties. The floods, described by rescuers as “biblical,” have affected the northern and western regions of the country, leaving thousands abandoned and prompting emergency evacuations.
As meteorologists caution of the approaching spread of heavy rains to neighboring Croatia and Bosnia, the situation remains critical and has raised concerns about the impact of extreme weather events fueled by climate change.
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Throughout recent hours, Slovenia has seen a storm of rainfall, for certain region encountering a month of rain in only one day. The resultant flash floods and landslides have made huge harm to infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and buildings, and have prompted critical disturbances in day to day life.
The districts of northern, northwestern, and central Slovenia have been especially impacted, leaving towns like Skofja Loka and Kamnik severely inundated. The floods have unfortunately killed somewhere around three people. Among the casualties were a Slovenian lady in Kamnik and two Dutch nationals in a mountainous region close to Kranj.
Slovenian authorities, alongside the military and emergency services, have been working tirelessly to conduct rescue operations and evacuate citizens from areas where access has been cut off. The situation remains fluid, with more areas expected to be impacted by the swiftly swelling rivers.
The floods have prompted the closure of nearly all regional roads in northern Slovenia, making transportation virtually impossible in the affected areas. Landslides and submerged vehicles have additionally further complicated efforts to reach those in need of assistance.
Also, some railway lines have been closed down, further hampering movement and connectivity. The floods has left around 16,000 families without electricity, adding to the challenges faced by the affected communities.
The Slovenian armed force has been sent to give help and backing in rescue operations. The Defense Minister, Marjan Sarec, has urged citizens to remain indoors and avoid unnecessary travel to facilitate the rescue efforts.
The government has declared an emergency situation in Kamnik, prompting the closure of kindergartens and public offices nearby. The Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief is coordinating response efforts to handle the more than 1,000 weather-related incidents reported across the country.
Experts have pointed out that extreme weather conditions, like the unprecedented rains and floods witnessed in Slovenia, are increasingly linked to climate change. Europe, specifically, has encountered a surge in record-breaking heatwaves, rapidly spreading fires, and presently heavy rainfall, highlighting the critical requirement for climate action.
As global temperatures continue to rise, extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and intense, posing significant risks to human lives, ecosystems, and economies.
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