I was able to capture these photos of an avalanche disaster in Vratna, Slovakia thanks to my membership in a volunteer firefighting squad, the DHZ Pole (www.dhztt.sk).

An avalanche of mud, stones and trees came down the valley due to heavy rainfall. 65mm fell in approximately 70 minutes while the average yearly rainfall counts 1045mm. The extent of the disaster can be seen on one of the photos where the brown spots under the ridge represent the avalanche. Authorities estimate mud from 50 hectares built the flooded the valley. Huge parts of the road were torn down. Only special vehicles could get through.

Nobody got even hurt which is very pleasing. Mountain Rescue Service rescued 122 people with small kids. Great achievement! It was very emotional for me because I was once as a kid accommodated in one of the flooded rooms of the hostel on my photos.

Our squad was responsible for pulling of sunken vehicles. Over 50 got damaged, some to an extent you would not say they were used to transport people in the past. The worst hit cars were found more than 5km away from the spot their owner parked them.

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