05BUCHAREST1031 / 2005-04-27 14:37:00
Embassy Bucharest
                UNCLAS BUCHAREST 001031 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAID, RO, disaster relief, flood 
1.     SUMMARY: In response to heavy damage caused by recent 
storms and floods, the Embassy hereby declares that a state 
of disaster exists in seven counties located mainly in the 
West and South-Western parts of Romania and requests $50,000 
to be provided to assist in the relief effort. END SUMMARY 
2.   During April 21-24, 2005, heavy rains and floods struck 
seven counties in Romania. The Ministry of Environment and 
Water Management reported that floods damaged more than 
3,700 houses in 175 communities and destroyed about 43,000 
hectares of crops.  Also, 339 bridges were destroyed and 340 
kilometers of county roads became inaccessible.  As a 
result, many areas are left without potable water and 
electricity.  Roads and railroads are also flooded, 
especially near the border with Serbia-Montenegro. One 
person lost her life and 3,350 were evacuated from their 
3.   The storms have imposed an excessive burden on the 
Government of Romania (GOR) and we anticipate that the 
disaster will have a significant negative impact on the 
economy of the devastated counties.  The most severely 
affected counties are Arad, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, 
Mehedinti, Suceava, and Timis. A preliminary estimate of the 
losses ranges from ROL 500 billion to 700 billion (USD 18 - 
25 million). In Timis, the most affected county, the state 
of alert was declared yesterday. 
4.   The GOR is providing food, water, sleeping bags, tents, 
and medicines in the affected communities, but the basic 
requirements are far beyond the capacity of the local 
emergency services.  The GOR's ability to meet most 
immediate needs is extremely limited. USG funding is 
requested to help to compensate by providing urgently needed 
assistance, especially to those families whose dwellings 
have been totally destroyed and who are now evacuated from 
their homes. 
5.   Ms. Lucia Ana Varga, Secretary of State, Ministry of 
Environment and Water Management, has written to the USAID 
Director requesting emergency disaster assistance for the 
people living in the worst affected areas. 
6.   I, therefore, declare that a state of disaster exists 
in the Arad, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Mehedinti, 
Suceava, and Timis counties which are affected by the heavy 
rains and floods. 
7.   For OFDA: Embassy requests $50,000 be allotted 
telegraphically to USAID, as authorized in OFDA Disaster 
Assistance Guidance, to initiate an intervention in support 
of the victims affected by floods. Please direct fund 
citation to RSC/RFMO Budapest and USAID/Romania. 
8.   USG assistance will be focused primarily in the Foeni 
and Otelec communes, located in Timis county. Commodities 
will also be supplied to other severely affected communities 
of Timis and Caras-Severin counties.  We anticipate that 
around 1,250 people will receive direct assistance. 
9.   We plan to use the USAID funds to procure emergency 
relief commodities consisting of water, personal hygiene 
kits, food supplies, well water purification kits, and 
portable gas stoves. The assistance will be coordinated with 
county authorities. 
10.   Our plan is to procure the services of World Vision to 
provide the emergency assistance. World Vision has 
successfully implemented similar humanitarian assistance for 
USAID/Romania during the past three years. 

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