The fight against flooding in Croatia has been going on for a week. The water levels of the Kupa and Korana Rivers are dropping. The peak of the water wave has passed through the Petrinja and Sisak areas, but the embankments are still under pressure. Emergency services are remaining on the ground as long as necessary.
“The water levels of the rivers in the Petrinja area are dropping and should continue to fall by up to half a meter,” said Tomislav Novosel from the Main Center of the Croatian Waters Agency for Flood Protection, but he warned that in the next two days there will still be a risk of flooding.
“I had a lake in my yard and now it's gone. Water didn't get into my house but it did get into the basement. There was about 50 centimeters water in the basement,” said Maja from Petrinja, whose house was under water until yesterday.
The head of the Petrinja Civil Protection Headquarters, Željko Tonković, admits that there are flooded basements, but that no house is submerged or threatened.
“We believe that after this sunshine a relaxation will begin, which I think we all deserves after the seventh day,” said Tonković.
Members of the Croatian Army are still on duty in the Petrinja area and will be there as long as necessary.
“For more than 50 hours we actively worked on strengthening the box barriers in order to minimalize any possibility of those box barriers breaking. We have confirmation that we definitely succeeded,” said the Commander of the 1st "Tigers" Mechanized Battalion, Major Marko Krpan.
The situation is much better in the area along the Kupa between Karlovac and Petrinja, even in places where boat transport was the only option until yesterday. The water is receding, there is less and less pumping, and the main task of firefighters and other services is now cleaning and mitigating damages.
Residents of Pokupska Blatnica and Vodostaj are tallying damages.
“The damage is huge, there's not much to say. In the house we received two pumps from firefighters and there was more than 40 centimeters of water. A lot has been destroyed, but not only houses but buildings in the yard, and some of our animals have gone,” said one resident.
Farmers across the country are also assessing the damage. In Slavonia, thousands of hectares of arable land were flooded, and sunflower, soybean and corn fields suffered the most.
In the north of Croatia, greenhouses with flowers and vegetables suffered the most. With the withdrawal of water - the catastrophic consequences are increasingly visible. Natural disasters have been declared for many areas.
Mato Brlošić, a member of the board of directors at the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture, explained the problems faced by livestock farmers in Sisak-Moslavina County.
“Their stored livestock feed has been destroyed and after the water pulled back they simply have nothing to feed the animals with. Furthermore, big pastures are located there which will still be under water for a long time, even after these waters pulled back,” said Brlošić.
And while the Government has announced that it will help, Brlošić pointed out that they need help as soon as possible in order to survive this year and continue production.
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