17 May 2014, 19:12

Russia's EMERCOM responds first to assist Serbian flood victims

Russia's EMERCOM responds first to assist Serbian flood victims

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) has deployed emergency response forces and equipment to Serbia after a decision was made by the Government of the Russian Federation initiated at the request of the Government of the Republic of Serbia after the county was hit by devastating unprecedented flooding reports EMERCOM. According to EMERCOM rescuers with the air search and rescue unit "Centrospas" and from the high risk rescue group "Leader" have been deployed to assist the Serbian people as they struggle to deal with the aftermath and continuing flooding which has seen almost the entire country mercilessly submerged under water.


EMERCOM reports that an unspecified number of the ministry’s rapid response Ilyushin 76 (IL-76) aircraft took off from the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s airfield in the Moscow region city of Ramenskoye. According to EMERCOM (at the moment of writing) more than 70 of the best-trained rescuers along with high-tech rescue equipment, including wetsuits, diving and special equipment were onboard, although that number will definitely go up.

The rescue teams will also be taking motorboats and are equipped for completely autonomous rescue operations in the flood zone for a period of more than 15 days. Hence constant contact and reinforcement will not be necessary as the rescuers set out on their task to assist as many people as they possible can in a volatile environment where time is of the essence.

Specialists from the Republic of Serbia’s Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center are directly involved in rescue operations. One of the center’s tasks is to eliminate the effects of natural disasters on the territory of Serbia and other Balkan countries. The center has already mobilized with water pumps and mobile power stations in order to assist the flood stricken population.

Russian First Responders First to Respond, thousands evacuated

The Russian Federation has been the first country to respond during the dire time of need of the Serbian people with many Serbians dismayed by the almost complete lack of response from the European Union and other countries. EMERCOM continues to deploy equipment and personnel as the magnitude of the devastation begins to grow clearer.

So far Russian rescuers are credited with saving thousands of lives with one operation seeing almost 400 people rescued including at least 79 children. According to B92 Russian rescuers were immediately deployed to Obrenovac, “… where they were met by Serbian PM Aleksandar Vučić, ministers of the interior and defense, Nebojša Stefanović and Bratislav Gašić, and Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin.”

As of this writing close to 8,000 people have had to be evacuated, with those numbers continuing to rise as rains continue drenching the Republic and the region. The unprecedented flooding has affected the entire country and the neighboring states. Videos have already been uploaded to YouTube with pleas for help as the magnitude of the flooding continues to affect millions.

Serbian Government Declares State of Emergency

According to the Serbian news portal B92 a nationwide state of emergency was declared on Thursday by the Serbian government in the entire territory of the republic. According to B92: “… the government sent a letter to the Russian government, the European Commission and the Slovenian government asking for humanitarian and technical help to address the consequences of floods, it was stated after the government's session. The government ordered the Directorate for Commodity Reserves to deliver to the most affected areas a thousand tons of commercial corn needed as feed. The state of emergency in the territory of entire Serbia was declared on the request of the National Emergency Situations Headquarters, which earlier on Thursday conferred to discuss the heavy rainfall and floods.”

Reaction on the Ground

Svetlana Maksovic with the Serbian monthly Geopolitika said that … many Serbian people are upset by the reaction, or lack of reaction thereof, of the European Union especially after EU Foreign Policy Head Catherine Ashton did nothing more than send her condolences.”

Maksovic who is in Belgrade said that the Serbians from across the country and the political spectrum are grateful to Russia for its huge response. She was particularly taken by a friend of hers who used to criticize Russia. She stated: “… But a friend of mine, who used to critisize Russia, saying they helped us only out of interest... sent me a message today saying he withdraws everything bad he has ever said about Russia and Russians and that he is impressed by their huge and quick help!”

Milica Djurdjevic a well-known political activist and the Public Relations Head for Srpski sabor Zavetnici, an organization for patriots of Serbia wrote the following about the situation in Serbia for the Voice of Russia:

"The situation in Serbia is extremely difficult. The material damage is immeasurable, but our main preoccupation now is the number of victims which is still unknown to the public. Floods have caused serial damage in Obrenovac, one of the most populated municipalities in Belgrade. Many inhabitants, especially women, children and older people, are still captured in their houses, without food and eletricity. The evacuation in Obrenovac is still in progress. More than 10 thousand people from all over the country and nearby region came yesterday to the city of Šabac to prevent the flooding of Sava river."

"Unfortunately, many cities in Serbia have not received any kind of emergency help yet. People are starting to panic because the Government does not have enough capacities to ensure immediate assistance to all of them. The local authorities are also not sufficiently organised. In these moments we can see that Serbia does not possess enough military capacities to provide emergency help. However, I am especially grateful to all young people who have shown their unity and provided help and support in all critical areas."

"This tragedy is a chance for the Serbian people to see who are his real friends and allies in Europe and in the rest of the world. Our Government has requested help from the European Commission but for now all we have received from them are just bare words and some issued letters of support. On the other hand we immediatelly received material help from our historical friends and allies from the Russian Federation. According to the information that we possess Russian soldiers have rescued more than 400 people and 79 children. We have also received material help from Slovenia. Meanwhile, many volounters came from Macedonia and Montenegro. I would also like to mention our brothers and sisters from Kosovo and Metohija that came last night to Šabac to help us."

"We are extremely grateful to the Russian Federation which had never let us down! Russian special forces made an extreme effort in Obrenovac. They are using boats to rescue people from the flooded houses, transporting injured, but unfortunately there are also many dead people. We will never forget all the support and help provided to us from Russia!"

"A few days ago we organized the so called “Walking for Russia” on the streets of Belgrade. The reason for this manifestation were the ongoings in Ukraine in the past several months. More than 1000 people gathered on the streets of our capital city to support Russia and to emphasize their historical friendship with our orthodox brothers. They were carrying Serbian and Russian flags and a transparent that said: “Glory to Russia!” We regret that our Government hasn`t shown more understanding for the Russian people in Ukraine and supported the referendums in Lugansk and Donetck region. We pray for peace and freedom of the Russian nation, hoping that they will get united again!"

"Greetings from little Serbia to all of your listeners. In these difficult moments Russia is our only hope!"

Sergey Belous a political observer and a volunteer who helped save the city of Šabac wrote the following opinion of the events he saw:

"When I arrived at the meeting point for the volunteers who were going to Šabac to help fight the flood I was surprised to find an enormous crowd of several thousand people. All of them were unbelievably enthusiastic. The guys were almost trying to 'break into' the overcrowded buses that were going to take them to the location. As if they were escaping from the flood, not going to the place where it was about to happen! Unfortunately, the local authorities were not very organized and there was no active coordination between different people, not enough special equipment (not even shovels) and there were no heads of groups appointed. The Serbs however managed to organize themselves, notwithstanding the mess partly created by local bureaucrats. They worked the whole evening and the whole night in the mud under the torrential rain to save Šabac from the fate of other flooded Serbian towns."

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC)

On its website the ERCC claims that requests for water pumps and rescue teams was answered positively within a matter of hours but as of this writing no concrete reports confirming active assistance have been received. ERCC: “Serbia's urgent request for high capacity water pumps and operational teams was channeled through the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) and was answered positively within a matter of hours. Bulgaria, Germany, and Slovenia are currently arranging the deployment of rescue boats, high capacity pumps and operational teams in Serbia. Following the same procedure, Slovenia and Austria responded to the request of Bosnia & Herzegovina, offering a helicopter and a number of motor boats to support the evacuation of residents and transportation water, medicines and food.”

HAARP to Blame for Anomalous Flooding???

Many of my contacts in Serbia have spoken of whispered accusations that the unprecedented flooding and unusual weather patterns in the last few years have something to do with the US’ HAARP system. According to one website: "A Serbian journalist was advised not to write about a HAARP installation near Belgrade. After series of texts regarding HAARP antenna system near Barajevo (Belgrade municipality) and application of this ELF system in Serbia the journalist of newspaper Pravda has received a phone call on Monday evening around 10PM from unlisted phone number. The voice on other side of the line gave the journalist a "friendly advice" to stop writing on HAARP."

If you discount the ability of HAARP to manipulate weather then this quote published by Slate might interest you: “David Walker—the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering—gave in a Senate hearing about the closure on Wednesday. He said, "We're moving on to other ways of managing the ionosphere, which the HAARP was really designed to do. To inject energy into the ionosphere to be able to actually control it. But that work has been completed."

Would it be surprising if the US, after unleashing neo-Nazis in Ukraine, unleashed flooding in Serbia? Those in the know would probably say no.

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