1. On Saturday 14 December 2002 at around 2.30 am, the Tricolor, a car carrier collided with the container ship the Kariba. The Tricolor sank 30 m deep in a matter of minutes, in the Pas-de-Calais, 20 miles northwest of Dunkirk. She was transporting 2,862 new cars and 77 containers. The Tricolor was transporting 1,990 tonnes of Intermediate Fuel Oil, 200 m³ of diesel oil and 25 tonnes of lubricating oil. The wreck represented a risk for navigation and a potential source of pollution.

  2. During the first 13 days of August 2002 extraordinary heavy rains fell in parts of Central Europe, causing disastrous flooding along the rivers Elbe and Danube and severe damage totalling an estimated 30 000 million US $. 450 000 people were evacuated and more than 100 lost their lives. In the first 5 days of August heavy thunderstorms developing in warm moist air affected northern Germany. On 1 August, some stations reported the highest 24-hour rainfall on record (Cuxhaven 63,6 mm), and regionally, the precipitation totals of 2 days exceeded the monthly normals by 50 %.