Floods Devastate Transcarpathia

Information received by C-RKB to date:


Dear Associates,

More than two months after the flood in the Zakarpatia (Trans-Carpathian) Oblast (province) of Ukraine, the situation for many citizens is still dire. Counterpart, under the auspices of USAID, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, and OFDA, has been responding to the emergency situation on behalf of the United States, with deliveries and distribution of humanitarian assistance directly to those most affected. The value of the assistance delivered so far from the U.S. Department of Defense and various private donors exceeds $2,000,000.

According to the Ministry of Emergencies of Ukraine, this is the most serious disaster in Ukraine since the Chornobyl Atomic Energy Station explosion on April 26, 1986.

The relief effort is expected to continue through the end of February or beyond. Below is a detailed situation report submitted by Counterpart's Regional Director, who has been working in the Zakarpatia Oblast since November 8, 1998. If you or your organization is interested in helping, please respond to me by e-mail. Thank you.

Best regards,

Brian R. Propp General Director Counterpart International Humanitarian Assistance Programs (CHAP) in the Western Newly Independent States (WESTNIS) of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova


January 26, 1999


1. How many people are still evacuated from their homes? 32,833 people suffered from the flood; those who have lost their homes - 10, 612.

2. How many people are living in temporary conditions, and where (schools, gymnasiums, boarding houses, territorial centers, etc.)? 5,898 - with their relatives; 413 - in hotels and hostels; 206 - in sanitariums and vacation houses; 71 - in institutions of culture; 264 - in educational institutions; 18 - in social protection institutions; 60 - in medical institutions; 3,658 - in other institutions; 24 - not evacuated.

3. How many homes need to be rebuilt? 1,316 homes are destroyed completely; 1,454 homes are badly damaged and cannot be rebuilt;

Of the destroyed homes 855 have been taken to pieces altogether. The number of homes already rebuilt and those still being rebuilt is 37. 183 homes and apartments have been acquired at the expense of the oblast and raion budgets. To resolve the problem with the housing, a decision was made to build 2,485 homes. 177 families decided to purchase apartments from individuals who offer them for sale. 30 families are building homes in other raions of the oblast, 3 families are moving outside the oblast.

4. How many homes need major repairs? 2,887 homes need major repairs.

5. How many homes need minor repairs? All others.

6. How many people are still in hospitals as the result of the flood and landslides, and what are their illnesses? 1,203 people still in hospitals. 17 lives lost as the result of the flood. Unfortunately, separate data on cases related exclusively to the flood is not available. Therefore, among those who have been hospitalized due to hypothermia, there were also those who were picked up in the street in the state of alcoholic intoxication. Since the beginning of the flood up to the present there have been identified 72,560 cases. 6,444 people of this number were hospitalized: 796 with hypothermia (790 discharged); 620 due to social reasons (609 discharged); 4,594 with somatic illnesses (3,440 discharged) 434 with infections (402 discharged) intestinal infection -83 hepatitis virus - 40 sore throat, chicken pox, measles - 103 pediculosis - 177

7. How many other buildings, such as hospitals, clinics, etc. were damaged and still need to be rebuilt or repaired? Medical institutions in the oblast flooded partially: Medical stations - 9 from 384; Ambulatory clinics - 9 from 135; Raion hospitals - 5 from 34; City hospitals - 1 from 3; Raion central hospitals - 3 from 13; Medical institutions - 7 from 17. No medical institution was completely destroyed by the flood. As a rule, only auxiliary facilities were damaged. Only in the Mukachevo Hospital the water reached the first floor.

8. How much crop land was destroyed, and what will be the impact on food supplies for the oblast, and for how long will it be a problem? As the result of the flood, 110,000 hectares of the cultivated land were flooded. However, this land had not been sown. This land remains to be good for cultivation. Crops perished as the result of the flood: Winter crops - 20,000 hectares; Perennial plants - 7,000 hectares; Seed corn - 1,000 hectares; 4,000 hectares of arable land was covered with silt. 23 granaries were flooded. The estimation by experts as to the damage done in this area was not yet obtained.

9. What are the most needed items now? What do they have a surplus of that is not needed? (to be answered in a separate report)

10. What specific villages were most affected (top-ten list)? Bobove, Vynogradivsky Raion - 344 homes destroyed; Vary, Beregivsky Raion - 302 homes destroyed; Koroleve, Vynogradivsky Raion - 213 homes destroyed; Sosove, Vynogradivsky Raion - 196 homes destroyed; Chortkotysiv, Vynogradivsky Raion - 110 homes destroyed; Tekovo, Vynogradivsky Raion - 89 homes destroyed; Klucharky, Mukachivsky Raion - 65 homes destroyed; Nove-Davydkovo, Mukachivsky Raion - 49 homes destroyed; Zarichya, Irshavsky Raion - 35 homes destroyed; Lopukhovo, Tyachivsky Raion - 33 homes destroyed;

11. Where do they expect additional damage due to landslides and when do they expect them to occur? (to be answered in a separate report)

12. Have they used GIS to determine this? (to be answered in a separate report)

13. Do they still need help from USGS? (to be answered in a separate report)

14. Any other information about people, diseases, health, and welfare of the people? There have been numerous bacterial tests done on the water as pertains to the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the oblast: Centralized supply - 4,200 (322 did not meet the standard); Public wells - 1,596 (292 did not meet the standard); Private wells - 4,403 (805 did not meet the standard).

Bacterial examination of the environment: Out of 41,180 tests conducted, 591 did not meet the standard.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

END OF REPORT: January 26, 1999


Please respond to: <brian@chap.freenet.kiev.ua>


We have shipped various medical supplies to Uzhhorod for distribution, but due to the disaster in Central America, we are having difficulty procuring additional supplies. If you know of any sources that can donate medicines....please contact:

Brothers Brother

1501 Reedsdale Street - Suite 3005

Pittsburgh, PA 15233


"Ukraine -Pac" is collecting materials on behalf of the Greek Catholic Religious Fraternity "FAITH and CHARITY", also 'CARITAS', for aid to the victims of the recent flooding in Transcarpathia

The firm 'UKRAINE-PAC' has already sent a 40 foot container with 20 Tons of food and clothing to their site in Transcarpathia. It wasscheduled to arrive on the 25th of November.

Additional help is requested . . . . .

Cash, Check or Money Order may be sent to "UKRAINE-PAC".

Packages of CLEAN USABLE clothing, bedding, shoes and boots. . . . FOOD. . . may be sent or brought to our warehouse at:


2 3 0 West Parkway Unit # 9

Pompton Plains, NJ 0 7 4 4 4 - 1 0 6 0

You may call for additional information or large volume pick-up. ..

(973) 831-1499


Michael Horvath misha@nac.net


As of Nov. 23, 18 people died as a result of the flooding in Zakarpattia. To date, 5,153 people have been evacuated, and 7 settlements are still under water.

(UNIAN, Nov. 23)

News Briefs 11-29

Information from contacts in Switzerland

The latest information from US Peace Corps volunteer Juniper in Rakhiv - Nov 23 [via Karen Varian of the Rusin Association]

Landslide Kills Ukraine Family of Four after Flood - from Reuters Nov 23

The discussion on the reasons of the flood in Transcarpathia - Nov 21

OCA issues press release - Nov 20 - use the "Back" feature of your browser to return here

Letters from Peace Corps volunteers in Velykyi Bereznyi & Rakhiv - received Nov 20 from Prue Zimmerman, mother of a volunteer in the region

Reports from The UN OCHA [Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] Nov 20

News as of November 18

Summary of Wire & Newspaper Stories about Ukraine & the flood in Zakarpattia (Nov 11-13) compiled by Walter Derzko (wderzko@pathcom.com) forwarded by Rich Custer

Latest Info from Uzhhorod - Nov 15, 1998

Latest photos from Rakhiv District - Nov 15, 1998 [via Tom Trier and LIH - Uzhhorod]

Some additional information to the report on the flood in Transcarpathia dated 10.11.98. as to the current situation in the region. - Uzhgorod, 13.11.98.

Our Mirror of site dealing with damage in Mukacevo - Nov 15, 1998

Our Mirror of site dealing with Khust damage - Nov 12, 1998

Link to site in Uzhhorod detailing damage in Uzhhorod - Mirror of this site coming soon [links on this site are mirrored by us above]

We have received some horrible and tragic news concerning the Rusyn homeland. They are in need of our help ...and they need it NOW!

We received word from Uzhhorod on the morning of November 7 that days of heavy rain culminated Thursday and Friday of last week in devastating floods in the Trancarpathian oblast of Ukraine — the region of that nation where many Carpatho-Rusyns live. This was confirmed for us then by an e-mail received from Tom Trier and Internet pleas by the mayors of Mukachevo, (Transcarpathia's largest city) and Khust just a few days ago and also by the International Red Cross, which is working diligently out of its Minsk office to try to help.

The magnitude of the devastation is sobering. More than 117 villages (about 1/10 of all villages) in Transcarpathia have been affected. Those especially hard hit are the lowland villages along the Tysa River which flows along Transcarpathia's southern borders. Both Uzhhorod and Mukachevo have been affected, but hardest hit have been the small villages — some of which no longer exist! The flooding occurred from Perechyn to Mizhirja to Rakhiv — from the highlands on down. At least 7 are reported dead and thousands are homeless. Some roads have been washed out, cutting off mountain villages and stranding some people in the mountains with nothing .. and now the snows have begun to fall.

“Why haven't I heard of this on the news”, you might ask? While some have said they saw reports of this on the Weather Channel, apparently it is eclipsed by the admittedly high level of devastation in Central America. We are asking you, American and Canadian Rusyns and friends, to do what you can to help our people in the homeland. The quickest way to help is to provide contributions to the American Red Cross, with which the Carpatho-Rusyn Society has been working on relief efforts and arrangements. Please send whatever funds you can to the American Red Cross at:

American Red Cross
225 Boulevard of the Allies
P.O. Box 1769
Pittsburgh, PA 15230

The International Red Cross has estimated that $200,000.00 USD will be needed to aid this region right now.

Indicate on your check or include a note that your contribution is to be used for TRANSCARPATHIA to assure that our dollars go directly to that area. In addition to any personal contributions you can make, we encourage you to raise support in whatever way you can. C-RS is also sending a letter to all the Rusyn Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox bishops in the U.S. asking them to mobilize their people to help. But perhaps you can do something in your church (whatever denomination you may be) or with your youth group or your relatives. Whatever you can do to help our people in Europe at this time is much appreciated. If you have any ideas or questions, please feel free to contact us. Please don't let our people in Transcarpathia, who already had a tough existence, go without help.


John J. Righetti President

Excerpts from e-mails [courtesy of Tom Trier]

Monday, 9.11.98.

Today's short information about the flood in Transcarpathia:

The districts most suffered from the flood are Rahiv, Tyachiv, Khust, Mukachevo, Mizhgirya. There is a lack of information as for the situation in the region: 31 villages lost connection; 19 villages are cut off; the number of victims is 7 persons – far from the real data; official information presented the slight authentic data of the realities in the districts. Village Jablunivka (Khust district) doesn't exist any more. The dam near was damaged and river Tysa changed its course. The village is under the water and there is no information as for the number of victims there. The financial support from Kiyv in the case of state of emergency in the region counts 5 millions of grivnya, but the draft analysis of flood damages only in Uzhgorod, which is victimized less than other districts, worth 12 millions of grivnya. The financial support from abroad is not given. There are still groups of people cut off and isolated. Rahiv is isolated, 250 meters of the road are washed away.

Short info:

118 localities are flooded, 725 damaged buildings, and 24.340 persons are settled out, 68 of localities lost the connection Constructing of barriers and dikes The humanitarian aid has been provided from other regions of Ukraine (Odessa, Kiev, Nykolaev, Chernovtzy, ), from Hungary and from individuals. The situation in Ust-Chorna district (Nimezka Mokra, Ruska Mokra): people left their houses and this night there was snowing. The lack of warm clothes and food.

Mukachevo district: 13 localities are flooded, 59 damaged buildings, 60 in the state of breakdown, 73 families are moved out, the worth of damages only in Mukachevo is about 50 million of grivnya

Short info Vishkove: 3000 pople are moved out, the quater of the village is under the water, 1 person died, but ther are still 20 dam. Houses which are not open .

Victims 8 officially (7.11. Fedir gave the data and they published it on 9.11.) 30 in reality. Cut off - 19 localities officially, 30 in reality (Kosivska Polyana, Rosishka) The most in need of the help Ust-Chorna, Lopuhiv, Vilhivchik, Ruska Mokra, Komsomolsk, Tyachiv region) the river is in the village where the houses were before There is no electricity, food, warm clothes People live at the moment in the building of store. Two wounded persons were evacuated.

Mizhirja 63km of the road is washed away, 3 persons died, 800 houses are damaged, 102 bridges small and big ones are break out. Rachiv is on the island, it s cut off from two sides. There is no electricity, heating and bread. To reconstruct the road it is in need of 2 months. 700 people are moved out (they stay in the sanatoriums and children summer camps)The only way is train road Ivano-Frankivsk railway. The villages Kobyletska Polyana and Kosivsk are cut off. Damaged 40km of the roads, and the line of boarder with Rromania for about 7 km. The phone connection with the mountain/remote villages is broken. The helicopters cannot reach Kobyletska because of the fog, no clear info about it.


The villages Shyrokyj, Monostyrets, Medvezij, Krajne, Vilshany (where the children boarding house is), Berezovo, Kicherely. The most priority bridge is damaged(Chust). Perechin: 1 person died The village Lumshory is cut off, the valley of the river Turiza is flooded, 20 houses are damaged in Perechin, no connection. In Solotvino (Tyachiv) the 150 miners of salt mining are saved by rescue groups. In Grushevo (Tyachiv) the river Teresyanka brougt dead body of old man and a boy. Mukachevo persons died. The district of Palanok (where ethnic Germans live) is flooded. And Pidgorane

What is in great need:

Food, salt, matches, bread, warm clothes (the snow has fallen in the mountain areas), mini electrostations, childrens food, children clothes and shoes, cables, medicine (the epidemic is prognoses tuberculesis,), the filter systems for the water, petrol and diesel for heating. 178 persons with the diagnosis of coldness, grippe A,B, the poisoning due to using of dirty, not filtered water, dyftery, disentery.

Gypses: 2000 pople suffered, their houses are damaged (90% of houses were built illegally, that s why they couldn t receive the housing after the flood).

Beregovo: damaged villages, Sasovo, Varievo, moved out 300 persons, Hungarian authorities gave 100 million of forints to Hungarian villages and special troops to work on the licvidation.

5 areas of railway road were damaged (Uzhgorod-Solotvino: Vilok, Korolevo, Rokosovo, Rahiv-Siget: Bilun, Kostelivka) The levels of water in Tysa Chop 1389 ,482-Rahiv (4 meters of dike), 726-Tyachiv, 437-Chust (dike was 2 meters), 593-Rika, Chust, Borgava-821m near the villages, Shalanky, Dovge-446m , Latoriza, Mukachevo-684, Chop-635, Uzh, Uzhgorod-325 (off. data 297).

Uzhgorod, 10.11.1998

The latest news about the flood catastrophe in Transcarpathia, presented by Fedir Shandor, a journalist of Uzhgorod newspaper and radio (on the 8th, 9th he has traveled to the remote areas by helicopter), and by Vasil Homa, a head of beneficial fund Carpathian Agency of Regional Development in Rakhiv (by phone and e-mail communication). The information has been received at 3 pm. on the 10th of November.:k

Tyachiv district The most flood damaged localities are: Ust-Chorna, Lopuhiv, Vilhivchik, Ruska Mokra, Komsomolsk (Nimezka Mokra). The flood has been crossing the village, damaging the houses. People left their houses and at the moment they live in the building of store on the hill. Two wounded persons were evacuated. There is no electricity, heating, and water. Of great need is providing of food, warm clothes. It snowed at night. district The most damaged localities are: Shyrokyj, Monostyrets, Medvezij, Krajne, Vilshany (where the children boarding house is), Berezovo, Kicherely. The most priority bridge is damaged(Chust).

The heavy rains in the Carpathian mountains have caused the flooding of the rivers Tysa, Ryka, Uzh, Latoryza, Borzhava, Teresva, Shopurka, Tereblya (152 rivers in total). The flood disaster has started at night 05.11.98.

Situation in the region he has given the information by phone and e-mail information has been received in the afternoon. Started snowing. In Solotvyno 150 miners of salt-mines have been recently saved by rescue.

District 19 of 22 inhabited localities of the district are flooded, 990 flooded houses, and 21 of them are totally destroyed. 211 km of the road are damaged, and among them the only one principal road, which connects the regional center Rakhiv with other villages. 185 bridges are damaged. Telephone connection works only in 3 localities. In the circle of flood disaster there are about 10 thousand people, 2 persons have already died. k i, principal The gas, water supplies are cut off. Reconstruction of the the road will take about 2 months. 700 people are evacuated.

Other areas Perechin: 1 person died, the village of Lumshory is cut off,

Vynogradiv: villages Tekovo, Chornotusovo, Sasovo, Varievo are under the water. No information. 3 persons died. The settlements of Roma people: 2 thousand people are moved out their without permission of authorities

For Wednesday and Thursday weather service has forecast further rain.

Please find also enclosed official information on the situation in the region. Official information as for the disastrous flood in Transcarpathia (taken from the regional newspaper)


The State of Emergency Commission headed by Valerij Kalchenko stated the flood situation in Transcarpathia to be already stabilized, although having been difficult. For the period of the last 24 hours the water level has been receding very slowly, but Tysa has peaked at 1328 sm. on the extract Tyachiv-Chop. Recently the water level is stabilized at 1327 sm. 118 localities (6754 buildings) are still in the water, 759 buildings are damaged (wattle and daub houses are not able to withstand more than 3 days of wetness), 24340 people are evacuated. 102 villages are left without electricity (46 only partially), in 19 villages the gas supply is broken, there is no connection with 67 localities. The water destroyed 174.3 km. of the dams, 20 bridges, 339 km. of the roads. 27 processes of landslide are stated. Mizhgirya and Rakhiv, being the centers of the districts, are without heating. Rescue operations and evacuations are still going on. 261 people are hospitalized, 178 of them have the diagnosis «overcooling». For 9.11. the number of people who have been died is 8 persons. The railway connections Korolevo-Rokosovo, Vilok-Borzhava are restored. 63 thousand people had medical examinations, 3140 of them are sick.

Updated Nov 15, 1998...21:18 - Carpatho-Rusyn Knowledge Base