Balkans Submerged by Historic Floods Threatening Thousands

More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia.

  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
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    A group is evacuated on an amphibious vehicle over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17, 2014.

    Landslides triggered by unprecedented rains in Bosnia have left hundreds of people homeless, while thousands more have fled their homes in neighboring Croatia and Serbia as Balkan countries battle the region’s worst flooding since modern records began.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    2

    Children sit in a bus after being evacuated from the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Kemal Zorlak / Anadolu via Getty Images
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    Homes sit submerged due to overflowinh rivers in Doboj, a northern city of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 16.

    More than two dozen people have died, said authorities, who warned the death toll could rise.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    4

    Serbian army soldiers evacuate people from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 16. Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    5

    People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17. Authorities said 25 people have died but warned the death toll could rise.


  • Alexa Stankovic / AFP – Getty Images
    6

    A group is evacuated on a boat over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Marko Djurica / Reuters
    7

    Serbian army soldiers evacuate a boy from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, Serbia, on May 17.


  • Ismail Duru / Anadolu via Getty Images
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    Houses sit damaged from heavy rains in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 17. Throughout hilly Bosnia, floods are triggering landslides covering roads, homes and whole villages. About 300 landslides have been reported, and stranded villagers often are being rescued by helicopter.

     

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More than 20 dead, thousands evacuated in Bosnia, Serbia floods

OBRENOVAC, Serbia Sat May 17, 2014 2:14pm EDT

 

People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014. REUTERS-Marko Djurica
1 of 11. People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Marko Djurica

(Reuters) – More than 20 people have been killed in the worst floods in more than a century in Serbia and Bosnia, authorities said on Saturday, with thousands evacuated from towns still under threat from rising rivers.

The death toll in Bosnia alone reached 19, including nine found on Saturday when waters receded from the northeastern town of Doboj.

Thousands of volunteers joined soldiers, police and fire-fighters in building flood barriers made of sandbags in the Serbian capital Belgrade and the western town of Sabac.

The River Sava hit its highest-recorded level in Serbia, the army said, rising at a rate of three centimeters (one inch) per hour after several days of the heaviest rainfall in almost 120 years.

Three people were confirmed dead in Serbia by Friday, and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said there were more fatalities in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade, where soldiers deployed huge amphibious vehicles to rescue hundreds of people crammed into a primary school.

Authorities in Serbia said they would not give a death toll for Obrenovac, a town of some 30,000 people, until the waters had receded and the extent of the damage was clear.

A Reuters photographer said the entire town center was submerged under two to three meters (seven to 10 feet) of water.

Tens of thousands of homes in Serbia were cut off from electricity and around 150,000 in Bosnia, where Doboj suffered the most.

 

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