Serbia, Bosnia Floods' Death Toll Up

World | May 19, 2014, Monday // 09:43| Views: | Comments: 0
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floods: Serbia, Bosnia Floods' Death Toll Up Residents try to set up a mini dam in front of their building in the town of Obrenovac 16 May 2014. 30km south-west of Belgrade, Serbia. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Official sources say at least 44 people have died in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in what has become the worst floods in the region in more than a century.

In Serbia's Obrenovac, located near the capital Belgrade, 12 bodies, as Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told Serbia media. The severe flooding left 90% of the town's territory under water, prompting large-scale evacuation operations.

A flooded street in <b>Obrenovac</b>, Serbia. EPA/BGNES

Vucic added that in Serbia alone the disaster had taken at least 16 lives as of Sunday evening. He said his country was affected by "milennial waters".

In Bosnia, at least 27 people have drowned due to the flooding, while in neighboring Croatia one person has died. Almost one-third of the country has been impacted, with many houses, roads and railway lines submerged in its north-east.

A view of the damaged Doboj highway 150 km from Sarajevo which is closed to traffic due to landslides after heavy flooding in <b>Bosnia and Herzegovina</b>, 18 May 2014. EPA/BGNES
Heavy downpours are also a concern in Slovenia, where Prime Minister Alenka Bratushek said half of the country's territory is "literally frozen".

Last week unprecedented freezing rains began in Slovenia, with local authorities in some regions saying it turned cars and trees into "ice sculptures".

Rivers have swollen in Poland as well, where torrential rains have triggered evacuation in towns along the Vistula river.

Two people have also died as a result of the flooding in the northern and eastern regions of the Czech Republic, according to rescue service officials quoted by the ITAR-TASS agency.

In Bulgaria, waters are still going up in the Danube river as a result of the Serbian floodings, as the public broadcaster BNR reports. Georgi Georgiev, an who heads the agency responsible for measuring the Danube's water level announced the surge would continue until the end of the week. Damages were reported in the north-western municipality of Bregovo, which is the first one in the river's way into Bulgaria.

Georgiev added that measures have been taken to prevent a further spillover, but also that the situation might get "more complicated".

EU representatives were quoted by B92 radio as saying the union was ready to allocate financial assistance to Serbia, which so far has been worst affected by the flooding.

There have been no estimates yet as to the dimensions of the damage, but just in the Kolubara coal mines, near the swollen Kolubara river, it could reach EUR 100 M, according to the Prime Minister.

The EU's mission to Kosovo, EULEX, has meanwhile sent a helicopter to provide help in rescue efforts, alongside Belarus and Russia, which deployed two helicopters each. Moscow has also dispatched two planes with relief cargo.

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Tags: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Obrenovac, Aleksandar Vucic, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Czech Repulic, Poland, floodings, floods, Alenka Bratushek, Bregovo, Kolubara
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