Several counties in Croatia have been grappling with flooding after heavy rainfall since 12 May 2023, prompting authorities to take urgent measures to mitigate the situation. Temporary flood barriers and sandbags have been installed along various rivers, including the Kupa River in Karlovac and Una in Hrvatska Kostajnica, in an attempt to control the rising waters. The rivers are anticipated to reach their peak levels on 17 May. The Sava River is also experiencing high water levels. More rain is expected.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said his government would provide all necessary funding and aid. Around 300 troops have been deployed to assist with flood management.

Floods in Obrovac in Zadar County Croatia May 2023. Photo: Directorate of Civil Protection

Požega-Slavonia County was among the regions affected by the flooding. According to the Directorate of Civil Protection, the city of Požega witnessed significant flooding on 12 May, resulting in approximately 60 interventions to address flooded basements and streets. The Orljava River near Orljavac breached its banks, exacerbating the situation.

In Virovitica-Podravka County, flooding was reported in Čačinci, Mikleuš, and Donje Pištane, near Orahovica, on 12 May. Local media outlets reported damage to homes and a kindergarten in Čačinci as a result of the floods.

Zadar County faced its own share of challenges as several buildings in Obrovac were inundated after the Zrmanja River overflowed from 14 to 15 May. The flooding caused power outages, prompting the closure of schools. In response, the Civil Defence, along with other emergency teams and the Red Cross, swiftly intervened, setting up flood defences and distributing essential supplies such as food and medicine to affected areas.

The Otuča River in Gračac Municipality overflowed from 14 to 15 May, causing damage to homes and affecting around 12 people. However, the water levels have since subsided, as reported by Civil Protection.

Sisak-Moslavina County experienced heavy rainfall on 14 May, leading to flooding in several areas, including Ilova, Kutina, Borovac, Matijevići, and Dvor. Authorities were particularly concerned about dangerously high levels of the Una River, prompting the implementation of flood defence measures. Authorities in Hrvatska Kostajnica declared an emergency after the Una River rose dramatically overnight.

Levels of the Una River levels in Hrvatska Kostajnica, Croatia, May 2023. Image:Hrvatske vode

In Lika-Senj County, the Krušnica, Brničevo, and Jadova rivers reached elevated levels, Civil Defence said. The Krušnica River flooding resulted in the temporary closure of a road in Lotići.

The municipalities of Skradin and Biskupija in Šibenik-Knin County encountered flooded homes on 14 May due to the persistent rainfall.

Novi Selo, located in Osijek-Baranja County, witnessed the flooding of a house on 15 May.

Krapina-Zagorje County was impacted by heavy rain on 14 May, leading to landslides which blocked roads in Marija Bistrica, Globočec, Stubički Toplice, and Krapinske Toplice.

Authorities in Karlovac County have been making preparations to combat flooding along the Kupa River in the city of Karlovac since 15 May. The river is expected to reach its crest on 17 May, and some roads in the city are already submerged.

Record Rainfall

Croatia’s State Hydrometeorological Institute, Državni hidrometeorološki zavod (DHMZ) reported 256.4 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 15 May 2023 in Gračac in Zadar County. This is the highest recorded since records began in 1960.

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