The arctic conditions from the beginning of January 2017 have already claimed lives across Europe. Conditions remain tough and constitute a small-scale, local emergency in south-eastern Romania. The severe winter weather hit Romania a week ago, when it started snowing heavily and temperatures dropped consecutively to -25 degrees Celsius. However, the crisis has reached a critical level only in the past 24 hours, hence the release of the alert at this time. Snowfall, combined with powerful winds caused the situation to deteriorate resulting in real danger for many rural communities.
The cold snap claimed lives of many elderly people dying of hypothermia. 40,000 are affected by the weather and cut off by the blizzards in the South and East of Romania and in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. People have been trapped for more than a week inside their houses leaving many with no access to food, water and medicine. Authorities are also warning of flooding, when the snow thaws and breaches dams and meteorologists predict that it will continue to snow in the South and East of Romania during the next week.
ACT Alliance member AIDRom, is on standby to reach affected areas to carry out a rapid needs assessment and plans to distribute food parcels, water and NFIs through the ACT Alliance Rapid Response Fund.