Croatia’s coastline was hit with heavy rainfall over the weekend, which continued and triggered flash floods on Monday, wreaking havoc across Istria and Dalmatia.
Torrential rain hit Croatia’s Adriatic coast on Monday, apparently caused by a stationary thunderstorm in the area. Local media are saying that this amount of rain hasn’t been seen along the coast since record rainfall in 1981, and some expect that record now to be surpassed.
Cities along the coastline were left without power, while schools and villages were evacuated, and roads closed.
The coastal city of Zadar saw over 340 liters of rain by 2 p.m. on September 11, while several others were hit with about half that amount. During the mentioned 1981 floods, Zadar was hardest hit with a total of 350 liters per square meters.
Hardest hit this time around is the town of Nin, in Zadar county. On Monday evening, there were reportedly 70 firefighter teams in the Zadar area and Croatian armed forces were also called into the area to lead relief efforts and evacuation where necessary.
Croatian Presidnet Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović arrived in Nin on Monday, expressing disbelief at the scenes she saw “cause by just rain.” Grabar-Kitarović told reporters that she believed the government would be proclaiming a state of emergency.
“Although it lasted no more than half a day, it is, after all, a natural disaster and I believe the Governement will react in that sense,” Kitarović told media, as reported by Croatian news site Vecernji.hr.
Croatia’s President highlighted that she was happy there were no human casualties and that she hoped hospitals and other essential services would be working normally Tuesday.
A bridge across a river in Zadar was destroyed by the flash floods. The water in the area is currently not safe for consuming, with surging waters having affected and possibly damaged the sewage system and water supplies.
Croatian national television network HRT reported Tuesday morning that the worst seems to be over and that authorities are currently assessing damage in the area.