EC offers Poland EUR 12.2 mln in storm damages

EC offers Poland EUR 12.2 mln in storm damages Malton Dibra/PAP/EPA

The European Commission on Thursday proposed to grant Poland EUR 12.2 million in damages in connection with heavy storms which hit the northwestern part of the country last year.

In mid-August 2017, violent storms and heavy rainfall affected the three Polish provinces Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Pomorskie and Wielkopolskie, destroying tens of thousands of hectares of forestland and crops as well as transport and energy infrastructure. Hardest hit were districts of the cities Toruń and Gdańsk.

"The EUR 12.2 million can be used to cover some of the expenses related to clean-up operations in forests, clearing fallen trees from roads and railways, and to help restore damaged infrastructure," the EC said.

The funds will come from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF). The Member States can turn to the European Commission for support of their long-term remedial actions after a natural disaster.

As a result of last year's storms in Poland six people were killed and 62 injured, including 23 firefighters. In all 4,800 buildings were damaged, including 3.400 residential houses. Enormous damage was caused by storms in forests. According to the State Forests' estimates, losses amount to 7.7 million cubic meters of felled trees and 38,000 ha of destroyed forests.

Last autumn, the Interior Ministry assessed the total losses at PLN 2.1 billion (EUR 487,000), of which PLN 1.1 billion (EUR 255,000) were losses incurred by the State Forests enterprise.

The support proposed on Thursday must still be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council, where representatives of the Member States sit. (PAP)