The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is facilitating the urgent provision of assistance to extinguish the forest fires raging in Sweden. Two fire-fighting aircraft, offered by Italy, are on their way to the affected areas.
Last night (3 August) Sweden activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to fight the forest fires in the mid-eastern part of the country. The ERCC immediately alerted the civil protection authorities of the countries participating in the Mechanism. By this morning, three countries offered assistance, and the Italian offer was accepted as most suitable for the needs on the ground. No further assistance is needed at this stage.
"I express my sincere gratitude to the Italian authorities for providing swift support to Sweden in this moment of need. Let us hope that our biggest fear of the blaze spreading to urban areas will not materialize," said International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. "Forest fires are a risk we tend to associate primarily with Southern Europe, but we are seeing that no country is immune. With risk like this increasing, it makes all the more sense for countries to help each other through the European Union. With the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, we help make sure that mutual assistance gets to where it is needed quickly and efficiently," the Commissioner added.
Several regions in northern Europe are currently facing heat waves which pose forest fire risks. The ERCC is actively monitoring these risks and developments across Europe. It uses national monitoring services and tools such as EFFIS (the European Forest Fire Information System) and satellite imagery to provide an overview of the situation in Europe. Throughout the summer months, it holds a weekly videoconference with national authorities from countries at greatest risk of forest fires.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates co-operation in disaster response among 31 European states (EU-28 plus Iceland, Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). The participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism co-ordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre.
Croatia earthquake: EU member states offer further assistance
Following the initial offers of assistance to Croatia – most of it dispatched in the first 24 hours after the devastating earthquake of 29 December 2020 – EU member states are offering further in-kind assistance. Sleeping bags, housing containers, lighting systems and mattresses, provided by Germany, France and Austria, are on their way to Croatia or will be in the coming days. Slovenia delivered supplementary housing containers to Croatia on 11 January 2021. “Once more, I would like to thank all EU Member States for their prompt response to the earthquake. The overwhelming response of 15 EU member states and one participating state helping the Croatian people in times of need is a tangible example of EU solidarity,” said Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič. In 2020 alone, the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre co-ordinated more than 100 times assistance to countries in Europe and worldwide due to crises.
EU mobilizes emergency assistance for Croatia in the aftermath of devastating earthquake
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to assist Croatia in the aftermath of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, following a request for assistance from Croatian authorities on 29 December.
Earthquake of magnitude 6.4 strikes near Zagreb, Croatia
The N1 news channel reported that the epicentre was in the town of Petrinja, 50 kilometers from Croatia’s capital Zagreb. It showed footage of rescuers there pulling out a man and a child from debris. Both were alive.
Other footage showed a house with a roof caved in. The reporter said she did not know if anyone was inside.
There was no further information available on casualties.
The quake could be felt in the capital Zagreb, where people rushed to the streets.
On Monday (28 December) a magnitude 5.2 earthquake hit central Croatia, also near Petrinja. In March, an earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit Zagreb causing one death and injuring 27 people.
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