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Macedonia requests Russia’s humanitarian aid after devastating floods

August 19, 2016, 16:25 UTC+3 SKOPJE
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SKOPJE, August 19. /TASS/. Macedonia has appealed to Russia for humanitarian aid after deadly floods that hit capital Skopje and areas around it on August 6 and 7.

On August 16, Prime Minister Emil Dimitriev sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev requesting aid, a source from the Macedonian government told Tass on Friday.

This request came in response to an aid offer from the Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov. The source said Macedonia requests pumps to pump out mud, disinfection materials, chain saws, generators, mini-excavators, gumboots, heat guns, blanket, sleeping bags and other necessities.

In its official request, Macedonia thanked Russia for condolences and for its readiness to offer help, saying "a friend in need is a friend indeed". The republic has already received aid from Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro.

Overnight to August 7, a monthly norm of rain fell in Skopje and outside it within several hours, raising the water level in rivers.

According to updated reports, 22 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in deadly floods hitting the Macedonian capital, Skopje, following torrential rain. Six more people are still missing.

A 15-day state of emergency has been declared in the capital and the towns of Kumanovo, Kriva-Palanka and Tetovo as well as in the settlements of Aracinovo, Singelic, Smilkovci, Stajkovci and Tsreshevo.

More than 5,000 households and farms were destroyed or damaged in floods, and about 30,000 people were affected. At the present time, a team of EU experts as well as local specialists are assessing the damage.

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