Introduction to the poster and video documentation of the Oder River flood

Bärbel Koppe, Manfred W. Jürgens
Institute for Hydraulic and Coastal Engineering, Rostock University, Philipp-Müller-Strasse, 23966 Wismar, Germany.Tel.: ++49-3841-753448, Fax: ++49-3841-753306,
E-mail: bkoppe@bau.uni-rostock.de


Extreme rainfalls in large parts of Eastern Europe resulted in disastrous floods on the river Oder in the Czech Republic, in Poland and in Germany. In the Czech Republic a third of the territory was hit by the flood, 60 people were killed and the damages were estimated at 3.5 thousand million German Marks. In the south of Poland, nearly 7000 km≤ were flooded, 54 people died and the incurred damages were as high as 5 thousand million German Marks.

In Germany, although the flood on the river Oder didnít take any lives, an area of 60 km≤ was flooded and the damages amounted to 650 million German Marks. The comparatively small damages can be put down to the small German area that is endangered by high water levels of the Oder, the relief by breaches in Polish dikes, the available time for preparation after first reports about the catastrophe in the headwaters and the enormous personnel, technical and financial efforts to protect the Oder dikes.

With the support of the bmb+f (Federal Ministry of Education, Research and Technology) the Institute for Hydraulic and Coastal Engineering of the University of Rostock has produced a documentary video about the flood at the river Oder between Ratzdorf and Hohensaaten in summer 1997. The documentation shows the course of the flood, gives an impression of the complexity of the emergency operation and provides political and technical conclusions of the high water event. Furthermore, the video informs about the hydrological, geographical and historical background of the affected German Oder region and gives information about damages of technical high water protection systems and their prevention.