Balkans on alert as swollen rivers grow further

2014-05-20 12:44
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Floods
    Everything you need to know about floods. Now R64.95
    buy now

Belgrade - The Balkans were on alert on Tuesday as swollen rivers were due to reach new peaks after days of devastating floods and landslides that have claimed at least 49 lives.

More than 1.6 million people have been affected by flooding of the river Sava and its tributaries while tens of thousands of hectares of farmland have been inundated and many houses and buildings destroyed or damaged.

These are the worst floods the central European region has suffered in a century.

In Bosnia, where more than 100 000 people have been evacuated in the worst exodus since its 1992-1995 war, thousands of volunteers were struggling to reinforce dikes along the Sava river.

Bosnia declared a day of mourning for the country's 24 dead while health authorities began disinfecting flooded areas as temperatures rise above 22°C in a bid to prevent diseases from spreading.

"We will face a major fight against epidemics and infectious diseases which are inevitable after such floods," said top Bosnian official Nermin Niksic.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said more than a quarter of the country's population of 3.8 million "has been affected by the floods" after the heaviest rainfalls on record began last week.

"Right now, more than one million people have no (clean) water," he said.

In Serbia, where the Sava has already caused unprecedented havoc in the north-western region bordering Bosnia and Croatia, thousands of volunteers were putting up fresh dykes along its banks.

Threat of more floods

Weather officials warned the Sava would rise further on Wednesday, threatening higher levels of the massive Danube as the Sava flows into it in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

In Belgrade, volunteers have placed some 12km of sandbags to prevent flooding of the Serbian capital.

In Obrenovac, one of the most affected towns in Serbia, rescuers have managed to contain the waters around the Nikola Tesla power plant which produces 50% of the country's electricity.

In Serbia, more than 30 000 people have been evacuated so far from the areas affected by floods, including nearly 13 600 in the region of Obrenovac, or half its population.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a government meeting that so far 14 deaths have been registered in Obrenovac alone, with autopsy results showing half of them drowned.

"We have been affected ten times more then the other countries in the region, but I hope the toll would not show that," Vucic said.

The death toll from the floods in the region rose to at least 49 on Tuesday, with Vucic saying the latest two victims were found in Obrenovac.

Landslides claimed at least one victim in Serbia and one in Bosnia.

Health authorities have ordered inhabitants not to return to their homes until the areas are cleared from debris and safe from disease.

"We have to react properly to avoid an even worse catastrophe, to avoid infectuous diseases," Serbian Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar told state TV RTS.

Tonnes of dead animal carcasses have already been taken from farms for destruction, but muddy areas and landslides have slowed down their collection.

Dozens of towns and villages have been cut off and over 2 000 landslides already reported, with water levels expected to continue rising in the coming days.

Neighbouring Croatia has also evacuated thousands of people from along the river Sava.

Threat of mines

In a potentially deadly side-effect, officials in Bosnia warned on Monday that some 120 000 unexploded mines left over from the Balkan war of the 1990s could be dislodged and moved.

"Water and landslides have possibly moved some mines and taken away mine warning signs," Sasa Obradovic, an official of Bosnia's Mine Action Centre told AFP.

He warned residents to be "extremely cautious when they start cleaning their houses, land or gardens as the remaining mud could hide mines and other explosive devices brought by rivers."

Read more on:    aleksandar vucic  |  serbia  |  bosnia  |  floods
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 20:17 PM
    Road name: MetroRail
    Due to extensive vandalism on the Central Line a limited Bus Service will operate between Nyanga/Chris Hani and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip - EXPECT DELAYS
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 19:58 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive
    ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.