A disastrous ice storm in early February has caused some 194 million euros (267 million U.S. dollars) to Slovenia's forests, an official source said here on Wednesday. About 660 hectares of forests have to be completely cleared when almost half million hectares of forests in the country were damaged by the week-long natural disaster, said Damjan Orazem, acting director of the Slovenian Forestry Institute.
Slovenia has more than 1.16 million hectares of forests, covering nearly 60 percent of the country's territory. In addition to its forest industry, Slovenia's power industry, railway networks and state roads, also suffered badly. The nationwide power failure occurred when many power lines were crushed either by the weight of ice and snow, or have been toppled by falling trees. Slovenia has sustained 120 million euros (164 million U.S. dollars) in damage to infrastructure, Samo Omerzel, minister of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Spatial Planning, said last week. Slovenian Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek announced early this month that Slovenia would apply for the European Union disaster relief aid.