Albania Prepares For Floods as Torrential Rains Continue
Albanians are preparing for the worst as non-stop torrential rains have started and are predicted to continue for several days – with major flooding predicted across the country, Tirana Times reported.
Several parts of the country were already seeing floods by Thursday night, with the main highway linking Tirana to Durres closed to trafficking due to high water.
Authorities said flooding had also damaged agricultural land and roads. In some places there were blackouts as the electricity network struggled to cope with the bad weather. A 50-year-old electrician died Thursday in southern Albania trying to fix a power outage, local media reported.
The country’s civil emergency authorities had started preparing earlier in the week as meteorologists had already predicted the country would get the amount of rain it gets in a month in just two days.
The Ministry of Education said it was closing all schools on Friday to protect the lives and health of pre-university students.
The Interior Ministry said northwestern Shkodra region was seeing the most floods, while mudslides temporarily blocked traffic in the southern Albania.
Tens of families in central and southern Albania could also need to be evacuated, according the authorities. At least ten families had to be evacuated in the Selenica and Tirana regions by press time.
Critical infrastructure such as a hospital and a police station were already affected by flooding Thursday night. Several accidents related to the weather were reported.
Rough seas mean that all ferry services to neighboring Italy and Greece have been suspended.