Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in West Germany earlier this week. Professor Hannah Clock believes that people do not feel the risk and point to failure in the system.
– I expected people to leave, you did not expect many to die in the floods of 2021. This is very serious, he says Politico.
Hannah Klock, a professor of hydrology at the University of Reading in the UK, who is associated with EFAS, believes the high death toll and the disappearances are “the biggest failure in the system”.
– Father though not
EFAS issued a warning in the “extreme segment”, Clock says.
– This does not mean you have to leave. It is up to the authorities. But usually, if you know there is a risk to life, if you know where this is going to happen, make sure you can get out. This is how emergency preparedness works
People do not clearly understand the danger, Clock believes.
– Driving or wandering around people in deep flood water scares me. This is the most dangerous thing you can do during a flood.
The German Meteorological Agency (DWT) says they have issued a stern warning to local authorities. In some places residents were told to leave their homes, in other places there was no news.
– A federal authority like the DWT is not responsible for initiating evictions or other activities on the spot, it is a task for local authorities, says DWT spokesman Uwe Kirshe.
Armin Lacet, Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader, said authorities had been warned, but “at the same time the sun was shining and no one could see it coming”.
Test alarm did not work
German Picture On September 20 last year it became clear that Germany had a warning problem.
The Federal Office for Civil Defense and Disaster Management (PPK) has been responsible for Nina, a warning application since 2015. It aims to provide quick alerts in the event of a disaster, and this application can be used for sirens, news via megaphones and news on the radio.
On the so-called “alarm day” in September, the warning was to be tested in the country. Users of the app should actually get a notification at 11am, but the alarm is never turned off, Built writes.
BBK acknowledged that the day was a “failure” and said the test alarm had not been triggered due to a technical error. The Ministry of Home Affairs, under the BBK, promised that this would be carefully examined.
PPK leader Christoph Anger had to go after the scandal, and Armin Schuster accepted the post. In March, Schuster promised to improve civil defense in Germany and restructure PPK.
A new “alarm day” was to be carried out in September, but was postponed a year later, Bild writes.
Norway than the European announcement
In Norway, the Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE) is responsible for flood warnings.
– We have a national flood warning covering the entire country. It’s different from Germany, it’s very divided, says Eric Holquist, a hydrologist on duty at the NVE flood warning.
He says Norway, like Germany, receives warnings from the European Flood Awareness Organization (EFAS).
– But functional notification has our own system that we use. We use more details than we get from the European system.
The NVE analyzes the situation in Norway daily and assesses whether flood warnings should be issued.
Warning level – green, yellow, orange or red – they determine the possibility of damage. According to Holquist, emergency preparation is often implemented at the orange level.
– We send out a notice, and municipalities, district governors and recipients of such notices as emergency services assess whether there is a need to take further action and implement emergency preparedness. We also have a regional office where professionals can help in this field, he says.
– Many flood-affected municipalities have created their own flood zone maps or obtained maps from NVE. They have a good idea of which areas in their municipality are most exposed, Holmkivist adds.