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Albania’s Floods Force Thousands to Evacuate

Albania’s Floods Force Thousands to Evacuate

More than 12,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in northern Albania due to torrential rains that have inundated almost half the country.

The government has declared a state of emergency in Shkodra–the district 75 miles north of the Albanian capital of Tirana that has been hardest hit by the deluge. The same state of emergency has been declared in the districts of Lezha and Durres, south of Shkodra and west of Tirana.

Driving rains throughout the Balkans have produced the heaviest floods in a hundred years, according to the Associated Press. In nearby Bosnia, 2,000 people have been evacuated from homes in the flooded town of Bijeljina. Rivers across the Balkans are overflowing from the rainfall.

Among the families forced to flee their homes are some that receive support from the charity organization SOS Children’s Villages, which operates one village and several family strengthening programs in Albania. These programs, which SOS runs worldwide, teach parenting and small-business skills and provide financial assistance to stabilize families so they can better care for their children.

On-the-Ground News 

The flooding caused panic in Shkodra this past weekend, according to an SOS field report. Most roads remain submerged in water, electricity has been cut off, and people are only able to move about in small boats. While the military and police continue the evacuation process, Albania has requested assistance from NATO in rescuing people and delivering food and supplies to those in need. Schools and most businesses are closed.

To date, 33 households receiving support from SOS have been seriously affected by the floods. The homes of ten of these families have been made uninhabitable by five feet of water. These families have been moved to temporary shelters in schools. Other families reside on higher floors but are surrounded by water and unable to leave their dwellings.

The natural disaster is taking a heavy psychological toll. SOS reports that parents are deeply concerned about the emotional condition of their children, many of whom are experiencing panic attacks at the sight of rising water.

SOS staff in Albania are working with other NGOs to coordinate emergency assistance for affected families and children. Food, clothing, blankets, and medicine are urgently needed.

To learn more, visit SOS-usa.org.

 

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Photo credit: SOS Children's Villages
By Kyna Rubin, SOS Children’s Villages

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53 comments

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7:50AM PST on Dec 15, 2010

i have not heard about this

5:27PM PST on Dec 14, 2010

I hope the floods stop and the Albanians can return home without devastating affects. This is the first I have heard of this. Very sad for these people.

6:45PM PST on Dec 13, 2010

very sad. :(
thanks for the article.

9:25AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

This is the first I've heard of this, but then, I quit watching the news. How sad. . .seems we've got our weather all messed up!

7:45AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

strange thing is, its not even on the news here

6:38AM PST on Dec 13, 2010

This is because of Global Warming.

1:45PM PST on Dec 12, 2010

S'il n'y a aucune volenté réelle de tout les humains pour ralentir
cette Hémoragie Climatique ont s'en vas tous dans un cul de
sac ,on ne peut pas faire des miracles avec a peine quelques
millions qui se battent et font leurs parts et des milliards d'humains ignorent ce qui se passe réellement ou simplement
ne veulent rien savoir et continuent a polluer sans laisser un
mince espoir d'une vie meilleure aux générations a venir./

1:17PM PST on Dec 12, 2010

The human mind is a reduced version of the inteligence of God, we can assist people in need by praying for their aflictions to be put to an end, praying for the end of suffering within mankind is a sure yes. May all suffering be dispelled troughout the earth.

4:44AM PST on Dec 12, 2010

So sad to see all this devastation round the world and still we have to listen to denials about climate change.
When will they wake up and accept that if we move quickly and with determination we can slow it down.

Make a difference, plant a tree.

1:31AM PST on Dec 12, 2010

This is why the politicians should talk NOW and not in a year..
Animals are dying ppl as well .. but they gonna talk bout it in a year..

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