Focus on flash floods in CEE

Posted: 2007-11-14

Community preparedness and public participation for flash flood management in Europe

The regional workshop, was held on October 29-30 in Krakow, under the auspices of the Mayor of Krakow and organized by the World Meteorological Organization, GWP CEE, Institute of Meteorology and Water Management and GWP Poland.

The event is a part of long term cooperation between WMO and GWP CEE in the frame of Associated Programme on Floods Management.

Flash floods are the fastest moving types of floods, triggered by heavy rain and usually giving little warning time to local people. Flash floods occur in Central and Eastern Europe in areas with steep slopes, climate variability and low soil permeability.

The workshop facilitated dialogue between hydrological and meteorological forecasters and civil defence authorities involved in flash flood emergency response and provided assess to good practices and lessons learnt in providing flash flood warnings to local communities.

The participants presented experiences gained from historical assessment of flash floods in 8 CEE countries, followed by the main findings of 3 pilot projects from Poland, Slovakia and Romania.

Workshop participants adopted recommendations for reduction of the devastating impacts of flash floods, addressed to decision makers in the national administrations, researchers and operational managers in the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, mayors and local decision makers.

The recommendations are taking note of the high losses of human life from flash floods across Europe, and the likeliness of climate change to result in an increase in intense short-duration precipitation in most of Europe and human alterations of the landscape to further increase of flash flood risk, based on the experiences gained during the pilot projects in the CEE region.

The flash floods preparedness planning was delivered through contributions of experts from the countries with advanced stages in this field, namely from Japan, France and Switzerland.

More than 40 participants from over 12 countries took part at the workshop. "We should propagate the results of our pilot projects", says Milan Matuska, Regional Coordinator of the GWP CEE Regional Water Partnership, "and make them attractive to the potential users - municipalities located in flash floods prone areas".

As one outcome of the workshop, WMO will publish a book entitled 'Working towards Flash Floods Management Strategy preparation'.

The book will include experiences from pilot flash floods projects and practical recommendations for reducing devastating impacts of flash floods.

The book will target decision makers in the national administrations, researchers and operational managers in the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, mayors and local decision makers.

For more information, vistit the APFM website 


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