by Richard Davies, floodlist
In early August 2023, Slovenia was gripped by a catastrophic weather event that unleashed heavy rain, severe flooding and landslides across several regions of the country. The disaster, considered the largest in the nation's history, had far-reaching and devastating consequences for approximately two-thirds of the country's territory.
Relentless rainfall fell across the country from 03 to 06 August. According to a report from the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) the typical amount of precipitation for the whole of August fell in just a few hours at some stations. Record or near-record daily rainfall totals were measured at several sites on 04 August.
ARSO reported extensive flooding along the Drava, Savinja, Kamniška Bistrica, Sora, Sava, Mura, and Ljubljanica river basins. High water thresholds were exceeded at 122 gauging stations on 74 rivers. Record discharges were measured at 31 gauging stations, a majority of them reaching 100 or higher return period.
The resulting flooding and landslides rendered areas completely inaccessible, and caused massive damage to buildings and infrastructure. The scale of the disaster is unprecedented in Slovenia's history, with approximately two-thirds of the country's territory affected.
In a report on 17 August, the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported 400 buildings destroyed, 8,000 people evacuated, 1,500,000 people affected, 6 fatalities, 30km of roads damaged, 70 bridges destroyed or severely damaged, and 750 hectares of land flooded. According to IFRC, the Upper Carniola, Central Slovenia, Koroška, and Savinjska regions were the hardest hit.
Copernicus EMS Rapid Mapping was activated on 04 August.