Disaster response Germany

European Floods 2002

Published on Aug 16, 2002 02:00 AM  -  Updated on Jul 09, 2019 05:00 PM
TSF deployed to the rescue and evacuation centre near Dresden Airport in Germany following the floods that hit Europe in August 2002.

Context: Floods
Start date: 16/08/2002
End date: 18/08/2002
Areas of intervention: Dresden

  • Support to coordination
  • Telecom assessments


In August 2002, record floods battered central Europe: Russia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany were particularly badly hit. Dresde (Germany) was experiencing an increasingly critical situation, the river Elbe having exceeded its historical record of 1845. Tens of thousands of people had been evacuated from the town centre.


Télécoms sans Frontières decided to send people and equipment so as to be on hand for eventual telecommunication needs of the relief efforts. On August 16th, a team left for Dresde, which was strategically placed to reach other affected or threatened areas if necessary.

Support to coordination

The team based itself at the emergency and evacuation of the injured centre located near the airport. The certainty of being able to depend, at any time, on a reliable communications' system was essential for the coordination of the relief efforts. The presence of satellite telephones and mobile data transmission/Internet systems brought by TSF would overcome any failure of the telephone network threatened by the rising waters.

Telecom assessments

In parallel, an evaluation of the situation was carried out in Prague, in the Czech Republic, in partnership with the relief organisation Groupe de Secours Catastrophe Français.

The emergency stand-by action of TSF on the ground continued until the last victims had been evacuated from the affected areas and the rise in the waters threatening the Dresde telecom exchange has stabilised.

In the evening of Saturday 17th, the Czech and German telecommunication networks no longer being in danger, TSF ended its mission and on Sunday 18th, the teams flew back to France.

With the support of