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Vučić: Sava river presenting the biggest threat

Sun, 05/18/2014 - 15:54 -- MRS

Serbian PM Aleksandar Vučić assessed that the situation in the flooded regions has somewhat improved, but that one should be very careful in the nex two days, the river Sava presenting the biggest threat. The end is not near, but today we have more hope than yesterday, he said at a session of the State Emergency Situation Staff. He said that another surge of floods would pass by Wednesday and that we should do our best to defend ourselves and use the time we have to prepare and protect ourselves even better. He emphasized that such an amount of precipitations befalls one once in a thousand years. He thanked the citizens helping in the defence of the towns of Šabac and Sremska Mitrovica against floods. Vučić also thanked people from all over the world who have offered help, especially Russian specialists, the European Commission and countrie of the region. He stressed that the EU commissioner for emergency situations had told him over the telephone that the EU was impressed with the mobilization of Serbian citizens.

Vučić emphasized that the time we have obtained should be used to prepare ourselves even better and that, thanks to the excellent engagement of people, a catastrophe that would lead to the disappearance of Sabac and its vicinity has been prevented. He also stressed that, when the water withdraws, the field, especially in Obrenovac, other flooded regions adn houses, should be disinfected and the total number of victims should be established. He said that the biggest damage from the severe floods in Serbia, of at least EUR 100 million, has been present in the Kolubara region, but that an even bigger catastrophe there was prevented due to help from Slovenia. 133 Serbian companies have provided money and what is required most at the moment is blankets, tinned food, hygienic materials, disinfectants clothes, powder milk, diapers, probiotics, drinking water and medicines for diabetics and cardiovascular patients. . He especially thanked Russia, the European Commission, Austria, USA, Israel, Turkey, Belarus, countries of the region and all others who have sent aid in rescue teams, helicopters, planes, boats or food.

In the forthcoming period, damage should be estimated in order that development aid be requested, above all for infrastructure, which has sustained most damage. When the emergency situation is over, we should dedicate to the complete recovery of our country in order to restore it to the previous condition by the end of the summer and to start building even more.

First Deputy PM Ivica Dačić said that humanitarian aid from abroad should be organized better, through diplomatic offices, and that it should be exempt from customs fees. He also said that no abuse, especially of financial aid, must be allowed.

Five people in Serbia have lost their lives in severe floods in Serbia and one of the victims was a member of rescue units, said the head of the Serbian Interior Ministry Emergency Situations Sector, Predrag Marić. At a session of the Emergency Situation Staff he added that another person was reported missing. In Serbia, a total of 24,352 people have been evacuated, 2,260 facilities are under water and 1,763 are being threatened, said Marić, adding that the exact number would be known subsequently.