The Government in Bulgaria reports that the situation in the flood affected areas of Tsarevo municipality in Burgas Province is slowly returning to normal after massive efforts to restore power and water supply and repair damaged roads.

Flood damage in Tsarevo Bulgaria September 2023. Photo: Municipality of Tsarevo

Tsarevo was hit by massive floods after torrential rain from 04 to 06 September 2023. Bulgaria’s National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology reported Kosti village in Tsarevo Municipality recorded 311 mm of rain in around 14 hours to 05 September. This is about 4 times the amount normally seen for the whole of September. During the same period, Gramatikovo village in Malko Tarnovo Municipality recorded 275 mm of rain, which is about 3 times the average monthly norm.

Rainfall in Bulgaria 05 to 06 September 2032. Image: Meteo Bulgaria

The Ministry of the Interior said the villages of Rezovo, Kosti and Lozenets and the towns of Tsarevo, Ahtopol and Varvara in Tsarevo municipality were severely impacted. The ministry confirmed on 07 September that 4 people had lost their lives in the floods in Tsarevo municipality.

Tsarevo Mayor Georgi Lapchev said: “I will personally report to the Prime Minister what the damage is, because the state should know what it should help our municipality with.

“The damage is huge, but we are slowly starting to recover. In 24 hours, we managed to return the normal rhythm of life in Tsarevo municipality. There are no cut-off villages, all roads are secured, there is accessibility to every single village.”

Power and water supply has also been restored, although the mayor pointed out that the water is not yet safe to drink. In the meantime, bottled water has been brought in and distributed at multiple points across the municipality.

As well as roads, a number of bridges were damaged and two were completely destroyed in the flood. Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said an assessment of the most urgent road infrastructure repairs that need to be made is underway. Funds will be provided by the Road Infrastructure Agency as soon as possible.

Department of Defence teams were assisting with technical and engineering expertise in infrastructure damage analysis. The government said the army is ready to provide support with military personnel and all-terrain vehicles at any time, if the crisis headquarters of the municipality deems it necessary.

A controlled release of water was carried out at the Hadji Yane and Poturnashki damsto ensure there is no danger of a new overflow.

The European Commission announced that, at the request of Bulgaria, it provided the Bulgarian authorities with data from the Copernicus satellite system to assess the situation in the areas affected by the floods.

Flood damage in Tsarevo Bulgaria September 2023. Photo: Municipality of Tsarevo

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