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Brussels, 27 May 2010

Germany, Denmark Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria and Croatia offer 2.12Million sand bags to Hungary to cope with floods

As a response to the Hungarian activation of the EU Civil protection mechanism, Germany has offered yesterday this afternoon 1 270 010 sand bags to increase its flood containment capacity of the country. The Czech Republic has offered 100 000 additional sand bags, the same amount offered by the Netherlands and Croatia Austria has offered 250 000 and last but not least, Denmark also offered 300.000 additional bags. The combined offers of these five countries(2.12 Million bags) go beyond the to 2 million sand bags that Hungary requested on 25 May when it activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. At this point in time, the Hungarian authorities have already accepted the offer of the Netherlands and are considering the others.

Since 15 May, the country has put in place temporary flood protection measures along 930 km of river banks. With over 3.6 million sandbags already in use as temporary protection, Hungary is facing shortages. As the flood situation is worsening, the country urgently needs to strengthen its flood containment capacity and put in place additional temporary protection.

The country has been facing unusual amounts of rain since 15 May 2010, which has affected approximately one third of the country. The flood protection efforts are concentrated in four areas: North Hungarian rivers, Central Hungarian Great Plain, Valley of the Kapos river, and the Bakony Mountains in Trans-Danubia. The request for 2 million sandbags has been sent to all civil protection authorities of the 31 countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.


The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response. 31 states participate in the Mechanism (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). They pool those resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world through the Mechanism. When activated, the Mechanism ensures the coordination of assistance interventions inside and outside the European Union. Such activities are coordinated by the European Commission through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC). Since its creation in 2001, the Mechanism has been activated for disasters in Member States (like the forest fires in Southern Europe in 2009, or recent floods in Poland) but also worldwide, including recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

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