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Stefanoski: The Balkans united in times of crisis

Emitting the signal of this system in the higher layers of the atmosphere, at a height of 100- 350 km above Earth's surface, causes its absorption from the ionosphere. That brings about heating up the ionosphere where the signal is directed, which is also being connected with the problem of depletion of the protective ozone shield. How is all that linked and how it impacts climate change is a subject of continuous research and verification

The latest events in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been characterized by many experts as a rare, “a hundred-year-old water” or an unusual phenomenon with enormous destructive power, says Stevko Stefanoski, MA and Head of Analysis, Valuations and Strategic Planning Sector within the Crisis Management Center. In his opinion, such emergency situations require joint action strategy on the Balkans.

Is Macedonia prepared for floods, such as those in Serbia and B&H? 

Stefanoski: Preparedness for risk management of large-scale floods is actually organized and coordinated approach with long- and short-term measures and activities by more institutions who share responsibility and authority. Concerning Macedonia’s preparedness for dealing with a flood emergency such as the ongoing one in neighboring Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, one must consider the specifications and differences of the endangered countries in the region. Geographical, relief, vegetation and hydrology parameters determine the region’s tendency to natural disasters. Natural phenomenons cannot be fully neutralized, however, the state and the authorities can plan and organize measures to relief the consequences. This depends on the state’s capacity for prevention, timely warning and response to the flood risk. The latest events in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been characterized by many experts as a rare, “a hundred-year-old water” or an unusual phenomenon with enormous destructive power. It is complexly different when frequent floods appear in a certain season, but cause very minor consequences and are acceptable for the community. Macedonia in general, increases the ability for dealing with crisis both locally and nationally. However, floods in the neighborhood witness natural phenomenons cause disastrous consequences, which imposes perpetual increase of the preparedness criteria, primarily investments in the timely warning system, high-quality monitoring of meteorological and hydrological situation and timely information sharing among institutions responsible for crisis management and protections and rescue.

Is there any project on protection of rivers overflow?

Stefanoski: Macedonian Government and authorities have been cleaning the riverbeds and sewer systems to prevent river overflow and floods for years. This is just one part of the preparations, the remaining ones are connected to infrastructure, which greatly decreases the flooding risks.

Therefore, the Crisis management Center, within its legal competence, is conducting a broad study on possible risks for two years in a row. Assessments for the southeastern and southwestern regions have been completed in 2013, while the assessments for the remaining regions are to be finalized in the course of this year. These assessments contain local risks for each municipality, planning and terrain arranging, risk prevention and resources.

This assessments and risk maps are designed for implementation of strategies and risk transfers, mostly through insurance of property, especially in agriculture, which suffers most damages from the floods.

Responsible Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply and the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning work on adjustment of Macedonian and EU laws on flooding risks management and sustainable protection.

In the period between 1950-1985 comprehensive engineering measures of reducing flooding risk have been undertaken. Many hydro-construction sites have been built, as well as many multipurpose dams to control water levels.

In 2003 the construction of “Kozjak” dam on Treska river, biggest river that flows into Vardar river, has been finalized, which is relevant to water accumulation, hydro-energy functions, economy and Treska water flow control.

Which Macedonian areas are i highest danger of river overflow?

Stefanoski: Floods are consequence of water level increase above the riverbed. Since Vardar river has most influent rivers (Crna Reka, Bregalnica, Pchinja, Treska, Lepenec etc.), floods are most common in these areas. According to statistical information, Vardar water level rises extremely every 39-40 years due to heavy rainfall, which leads to disastrous floods.

Flooding analysis in Macedonia in the past show they mostly occur in Polog Basin, Skopsko Pole, before the entrance of Taor Canyon, Bashino Selo-Veles, Negotino-Krivolak and from Demir Kapija to the Greek border. Floods also occur along the river flow of Pena, Lepenec, Markova Reka, Pchinja, Kumanovska Reka, Bregalnica, Zletovska Reka, Crna Reka and Borotino. Along Strumica River, floods occur around wells of the rivers Radovishka, Oraovichka and Smiljanska.

Specific problem for Macedonia are floods caused by short, intensive downpours, especially during the summer. Such local, short-term floods might cause great material damage, moreover if urban environments are affected. Floods damages in Macedonia in 1995 were MKD 2,93 billion, or 3,4% of Macedonia’s GDP for fiscal year 1994.

Analysis show summer storms and flooding downpours are most probable to occur in the Macedonia’s central and southeastern regions, which are otherwise regions with small amount of rains during the hydrological year. Storms and flooding downpours are most likely to occur in:

1) Kavadarci region – along Luda Mara river;

2) Prilep region – along Borotino river;

3) Skopje region – along Lepenec river;

4) Kumanovo region – along Kumanovska Reka river and,

5) Strumica region – along Strumica river.

Common feature of all these regions are the woodless hills, subject to frequent erosion.



How is the HAARP system affecting the climate change?

Stefanoski: HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is a scientific research aimed at stimulating and controlling the processes in the ionosphere, which could change the work of the communication and surveillance systems. Work on the HAARP Station began in 1993 and, initially has been projected to last for 20 years. The equipment for the HAARP project is consisted of a large number of radio transmitters with huge power and proper detection devices. Its powerful antennae, used with powerful generators, which, according to the available information, emit energy larger than 3,000,000 watts into the atmosphere on a daily basis. This system has multiple functions and can be used in various fields. It enables communication with submarines in ocean’s greatest depths by using an extremely low frequencies. That is also how penetrates into the deepest layers of the Earth. studying its geological composition. It ensures protection and early warning about approaching celestial bodies, missiles and the like. It also allows changing the chemical structure of the highest layers of the atmosphere, which helps to prevent and mitigate the strenghts of the natural phenomena (hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons and so forth).

Emitting the signal of this system in the higher layers of the atmosphere, at a height of 100- 350 km above Earth’s surface, causes its absorption from the ionosphere. That brings about heating up the ionosphere where the signal is directed, which is also being connected with the problem of depletion of the protective ozone shield. How is all that linked and how it impacts climate change is a subject of continuous research and verification.

Should conspiracy theories that HAARP caused the changes and the floods be taken seriously?

Stefanoski: There are many theories and writings that relate HAARP’s to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. In the event of the floods in Serbia, the media started writing articles that link the disaster with the existence of such systems. Although, all that remains a subject, which science and experts from the field should support or refute.

Could Serbia, or the human factor, minimize the damage that was done by having taken certain activities in time?

Stefanoski: The analysis of all disasters also include the segment of the system’s reaction, or the competent institutions, whether the taken measures were proper. In this case, it is too early to make assessments on the matter. Again, as crucial I would single out the announcements, or the alarm by the hydrometeorological services (national, regional and global) and how seriously they were taken as a basis for taking concrete measure for protection (construction of flood protection dikes) and evacuation of the endangered areas. The analysis after the floods will indicate the possible deficiencies in the system, which further on will serve as a lesson learned, which will be applied in the legal and procedural framework for response to catastrophic floods.

Is is possible for a single country to deal with such a disaster or aid from other countries is needed?

Stefanoski: Major disasters always and everywhere overcome the abilities of the disaster stricken-country or region, as in the case. History shows that. In such cases, assistance from other countries is necessary, not only in the phase of amortization from the first shock wave, but also in the period of time of mitigation of the effects and and rehabilitation from the disaster. This need is recognized by the global and regional organizations as UN, NATO, EU etc., which develop special mechanisms and build proper capacities, rapidly deployable and available to the disaster stricken-country for that purpose. In this context, since its independence, Macedonia aspires to be integrated within the frames of these global systems and mechanisms.

Is a joint strategy to act in the Balkans in such situations possible to happen?

Stefanoski: Not only is a joint strategy to act in the Balkans in such crisis situations is possible to happen, but also experiences show that it is necessary. The experiences from the major wildfires that hit the region in 2007, have seriously opened that matter. The flood situations have once again tackled the need of building a joint regional capacity for response to disasters. Almost all Balkan countries belong to the category of small countries with insufficiently strong economies, which presents limited element for building national capacities against the possibility to build capacities, which will serve for the mutual needs of the Balkans, with joint investments in a more rational and economically more acceptable manner.

Do you believe that the region has responded properly to Serbia’s call for help?

Stefanoski: The floods in Serbia and B&H have confirmed the saying that the neighbour is the first to come to help when needed. All countries from the region have taken activities for sending assistance to the endangered areas as soon as possible. Some of the activities, as we could see, were organized and undertaken by the country and the institutions, while others were taken by many non-governmental organizations, initiatives and associations of the citizens. All that confirms the fact that the countries in the region responded to the call for help rapidly. However, during such situations, one has to keep to certain procedures and principles, which implies to careful perception of the nature of the aid that the disaster stricken-country seeks and according to that to sent adequate assistance, otherwise it will cause additional burden ad problem to the national element of accepting and distributing the assistance, whether it would be human forces, material-technical supplies or humanitarian aid. If those principles are not respected, the aid could turn into an additional problem.


By: Biljana Zafirova

Photo: Aleksandar Ivanovski