Energy 17 August, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

The army will help to deal with storm aftermath 

On Tuesday Beata Szydło the Polish Prime Minister and Antoni Macierewicz the Minister of Defense visited the Pomerania voivodeship where emergency services are helping the victims of the latest storm

Szydło and Macierewicz met with representatives of the emergency services and inhabitants of the affected area where the rescue operations are taking place.

“I expect the local authorities to inform us on what they need. At this time the rescue operations are fully secured, we all have to realize that removing the damages after this tragedy will take months, years even,” Szydło said after meeting with representatives of the local authorities.

“We are aware that this will take a long time, but we will certainly support all of you – both the local governments and the affected families, to let you go back to normal life in this area,” the Prime Minister added.

“The soldiers are available whenever the civil authorities need them. The soldiers are ready. The alert level for the military units in this area has been raised, so that at any time when the voivode or other official needs them, they will be immediately made available,” the head of the ministry promised at a press conference. 

The Minister also pointed that “the damage to the environment is so huge that its consequences will be manifesting themselves for a long time, which means we have to be prepared that as the time goes by new needs and threats will appear. This is why the military is ready to help.”

“The head of the Armed Forces Branches General Command is directly involved in the rescue efforts and has been equipped with all the necessary resources. If it turns out they need to be increased, we will increase them,” Macierewicz said.

He also stressed that the rescue efforts were mostly supported by military engineers who had heavy equipment necessary to, among others, clear watercourses and remove trees from roads.

At the request of the voivode of the Pomerania voivodeship, the Minister of Defense agreed to provide soldiers and military equipment to deal with the aftermath of the storm. The military is ready to offer help at any time in all parts of Poland.

About 60 soldiers are taking part in the efforts together with trucks and off-road cars, boats, bulldozers, PTS vehicles and other specialist engineering machines.

The aftermath

At the village of Rytel visited by the Prime Minister, the storms damaged 150 houses and 70% of households still do not have electricity. Soldiers are using special military equipment to deal with the aftermath. Currently 70 soldiers are in the district of Rytel, they are clearing the Brda river’s bottom.

The total amount that will help the victims of the storms across the country is almost PLN 31 m. The money will be given to over 6 thousand families. Six people were killed during the storms (five in Pomerania and one in Greater Poland) and about 50 were injured. The strong wind damaged or blew off roofs from almost 3 thousand buildings, including 2 thousand houses.

69.8 thousand firefighters from the state and volunteer fire services and 15.7 thousand vehicles intervened 20.6 thousand times after the storms that took place between August 10 and 14. The highest number of interventions were conducted in four voivodeships: kujawsko-pomorskie (6 thousand), Greater Poland (5 thousand), Pomerania (2.8 thousand) and Lower Silesia (1 thousand). On Saturday about 500 thousand people across the country did not have electricity. The Kujawy region and Pomerania where most affected with 230 thousand people without access to power.