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Poland to apply for EU aid after storms, says minister

Staff Writer |
Poland is to apply to Brussels for aid after violent storms wreaked havoc in Poland’s north, killing six and injuring dozens of people, the interior minister has said as the cleanup continues and assessors evaluate damages.

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Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said damages had been assessed in about 50 percent of buildings hit by the storms on August 11-12, adding that it was “too early” to talk about costs.

But he said that he planned to appeal to the European Union Solidarity Fund, which was set up to respond to major natural disasters, once valuations were done, which he expects by the end of the month.

He also said that on Thursday, when the government sits down to discuss the state response to the storms, the Polish prime minister would propose new crisis management plans, including a solution to transceiver stations being shut down when power is cut off.

On August 11-12, fierce winds and heavy downpour wreaked havoc in Poland’s north, killing six people, including two girls at a scouting camp, damaging hundreds of homes and destroying some 45,000 hectares of forest.

Power was cut to more than half a million people at the peak of the storm.

Some 96,000 firefighters were called out more than 26,000 times, and 400 soldiers were involved in the cleanup after the weather subsided.

Both the fire department and armed forces aim to have roads and buildings in working order before children go back to school on 1 September.

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