May 28, 2014

Photo report from western Serbia

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On Saturday, May 24, a team of experts in hidrology, geology and construction, composed of the members of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs, visited road and water infrastructure from Sabac to Loznica. Upon arriving in the village Jarak (left bank of the Sava river) we saw the solid bank forth, which managed to save over 3.000 ha of the fertile land with vegetables, greenhouses and crop farming. The traffic on this part of the regional road Ruma-Sabac is slowed down (in one track only) in the length of 2 km, and there is no traffic signalization.

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The approach to Sabac, from Platicevo and Klenak, seems like sea. The left bank, in the width of 800 m, is still under water, while the right bank between the Fortress and the bridge is under water until the embankment. The main water measuring station of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHSS) is completely under water, but the approach to the station, through the improvised pedestrian bridge, is not endangered.

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The road towards Loznica, near Sabac and the village Majur, is now completely free, without any problems, although we spoted several places where the water broke through the circuit from Cer circumferential channel. There weren’t significant damages in the zones of the bank forth. It was obvious that the water management services in charge from the municipalities Sabac and Bogatic had performed their job responsible and well in the previous period.

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Unfortunately, the area of Prnjavor, especially the village Jelav (in Loznica municipality), has suffered almost complete flooding, by Jadar river spills, inflow from hypsometrically higher hinterland and heavy rain of over 216 mm per m2 in less than 48 hours. Mud, stunted and damaged stems, submerged greenhouses and commercial yards are visible, and resemble the “natural horror”.

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The damages on the road infrastructure caused the lines and communication interruption, above all on the local roads, although the damages are visible also along the regional road Sabac-Loznica, which is a main communication route towards the Republic of Srpska. Unfortunately, the channels along the road are being repaired or built, for the reception of rain and water from the road.

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The greatest damage from the flooding took place in the Jadar river. The bridge on the Jadar river between the villages Kozjak and Gornji Dobric collapsed. The bridge which was build two years ago, although it was relatively well-funded, lost its “left” lamella in the length of 20 m. On this part of the flow, the riverbed of Jadar was completely hydrotechnical regulated in 2011, but neither the riverbed, nor the bridge were able to sustain the flows. The data of RHSS are not available yet, but the designers and performers of all hydrotechnical works should take full responsibility.

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According to the data of the city organs from Loznica (which encapsulate municipalities Krupanj, Ljubovija and Mali Zvornik), there are over 200 landslides, 700 devastated houses, 150 cottages, over 5.000 ha of flooded area, over 20 t of dead animals (the data of firm “Our home” from Loznica) etc. has made the damage of 1.6 billion dinars, or approximately 16 million EUR. The mayor of Loznica said it was more than an annual city budget.

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A hope remains that the state will have understanding, and that it will help this municipality to regulate the riverbed of the Jadar river. For several years this river has induced “sudden” floods, created almost constant damages, and the state should intervene to prevent future problems.  

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