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High water: Land under in Croatia

Floods - Land under in Croatia, severe flooding

On the Adriatic coast of Croatia there was heavy flooding after rainfall, politicians even speak of a natural disaster with many flooded basements and destruction. The problematic flood situation is exacerbated above all by the current strong blowing Jugo.

The news rolled over: on 18.11.2022 Wetter Online reported a severe storm and flash floods in Croatia. After that, there had been massive flooding on the Adriatic coast of Croatia after rainfall, and for the following days, the weather service predicted more storms.

The popular holiday regions were also affected: The worst hit was Novi Vinodolski, not far from Rijeka on the Adriatic coast. Last Friday morning, masses of rain flowed through the streets, numerous cellars were flooded, and vehicles got “stuck” in the water. However, there had been “no reports of casualties so far.”

In Novi Vinodolski, more than 200 liters of rain per square meter had fallen in a short time

According to the mayor, in Novi Vinodolski more than 200 liters of rain per square meter fell in a short time, Wetter Online announced on its site that after a break in the rain last Friday, further rain, some heavy, was expected on Saturday with a small Mediterranean low.

The weather models would have indicated afterwards until Sunday morning again about 100 liters of rain per square meter. The soils are already saturated, so that floods are pre-programmed.

The problematic situation in Croatia is aggravated above all by the currently strongly blowing Jugo

Also, the staff of SeaHelp headquarters in Punat confirmed on Tuesday heavy rains that led to flooding in the region. The problematic situation is intensified, however, especially by the current strong blowing Jugo, says SeaHelp managing director Wolfgang Dauser, which drives the sea to the north and thus let the water level rise additionally.


Flood Croatia: Severe Flooding - Punat


The southerly wind Jugo, one of the main winds on the Adriatic along with the Bora, is known to many as the sirocco, or scirocco (Croat. široko or šilok). The jugo usually builds up gradually; only after some time does it reach its full strength. As now in winter, the strong wind can be observed mainly in the southern Adriatic. It typically brings warm temperatures and high humidity. Due to the falling pressure, rainy thunderstorms often brew.

It is mainly thanks to this wind phenomenon that the water level in the harbors and in the shore area has currently risen sharply, according to SeaHelp headquarters; photos show that the water has partially sloshed over the shore fortifications and the boats and yachts were sometimes “at eye level with the passing cars” in the water on the mooring lines.


Flood Croatia: Severe Flooding


In the morning of 19/11, the fire department had received about 200 calls from Malinska and Dobrinja about the flooding

Such floods had not occurred for at least half a century, quoted the commander of the public fire department of the town of Krk, Goran Grubišić. Grubišić further reported in the article that on the morning of Nov. 19, firefighters received about 200 calls from the area of the municipalities of Malinska and Dobrinja had received, and that there had been about seventy firefighting missions as a result.

The most difficult situation, he said, was in the center of Malinska and Vantačići had been, as there were the “lowest points” that had been flooded. Roads had been damaged in Malinska and in the area of the municipality of Dobrinj, where the floods in Šilo, Klimno und Soline would have caused the most damage.

Municipal Councilor Malinska-Bogovići spoke of a natural disaster and warned citizens

As further reports, the Malinska-Bogovići Municipal Council spoke of a natural disaster in this context and issued a warning. Citizens should not expose themselves to any risk and report accidents to the fire department, people should look after their neighbors, check if all doors are well closed and – if the situation allows – help clean the streets and roads in front of their own houses. In general, however, it is better to stay at home.

There had also been heavy rains over Velebit, reported in another news item Nov. 21; the gorge Velika Paklenica had then turned into a “raging torrent”; the former stream had “poured out of its bed and carried everything before it”; the damage had yet to be determined.

Material damage in the Velebit Nature Park is also extensive; hiking trails and rest areas are damaged

What is certain, however, is that the rainstorm damaged hiking trails, rest areas and even water pipes, which were exposed after everything around them was washed away by the swollen stream. The guide at Paklenica National Park, Ante Zuanović, was quoted as saying that the material damage was “great.” Currently, he said, only a limited range of services is available to visitors; the visitor center of the underground town of Paklenica is closed.

Already on 25.10.2022, the news portal warned that Croatian and Italian scientists had warned that the Adriatic Sea was “in big trouble.” The scientists, who would work in the field of climate research and adaptation along the Adriatic coast, had issued “serious warnings” last week in Split, it said.

Mediterranean sea levels hit hard by melting ice caps; further rise expected

Research has shown that sea level rise in the Mediterranean, including the Adriatic, is most affected by the melting of the ice caps and the changing dynamics of the North Atlantic as a result, the paper quotes Dr. sc. Natalija Dunić of the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries as saying; sea levels have already risen, and surface salinity in the Adriatic is also increasing, Dunić warned. The question, she said, is “whether we will see a sea level rise of 30 or 80 cm by the end of this century.”

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