Heavy rains in June 1998 brought about the worst floods in the history of Slovakia, changing otherwise quiet rivers in eastern part of the country into a lethal force. The tragic results were 63 dead, over 3,000 people evacuated from their homes, and two thousand houses destroyed. Since shacks are incomparably more vulnerable to natural disasters than proper houses, this flash flood hit the Gypsy settlement near the community of Jarovnice the hardest, and the highest number of casualties occurred there. Jarovnice is one of the largest and most backward of the Romany settlements in Slovakia. Almost four thousand Roma live in unbearable living conditions there, most of them without work and illiterate. The otherwise harmless rain-swollen Mala Svinka brook claimed at least 44 children and 16 adults.
Deforestation can, in the short-term, lead to increased run-off and soil erosion, mudslides and flash flooding. Poor forest management has exacerbated flash floods across the world, such as those witnessed in the Philippines which killed more than 5 000 people in 1991, and the mudslides in southern Italy in 1998.