Torrential Rains Ravage Slovenia
Friday, September 21st was declared a day of national mourning in Slovenia after a brief but unusually violent storm on Tuesday afternoon brought the heaviest rains registered in the small country for the last 30 years. Six people died as a result of flooding and mudslides which swept away hundreds of cars and damaged over 350 houses. The worst hit regions were in the Gorenjska and Celje regions, some 40 kilometres to the northwest of Ljubljana.
"It is a real catastrophe. The overall damage can't be evaluated yet but it will probably exceed 0.3 percent of the gross domestic product," Prime Minister Janez Jansa said Wednesday. The government took emergency measures Thursday to help in the clean-up and reconstruction of the devastated areas and announced an initial 500,000 euro emergency fund for areas hit by the torrential rains. Overall damages from the catastrophe have been estimated at about 20 million euros.