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Rediff.com  » News » PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

May 21, 2014 10:51 IST

PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

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The Balkan countries of Serbia and Bosnia have been battered by the worst floods in the last 120 years in the region. Almost four million people have been affected by the floods, government officials said.

Muddy waters from the Sava river have submerged houses, churches, mosques and roads in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia after record rainfall last week wreaked havoc across the region. There were fears that human bodies and animal carcasses could lead to disease outbreaks.

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Image: A Slovenian rescue worker saves a dog during heavy floods in the village of Prud.
Photographs: Srdjan Zivulovic/REUTERS

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PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

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 “More than 100 000 people have been evacuated in Bosnia alone, said Stanko Sliskovic of Bosnia’s emergency services, with tens of thousands more displaced in neighbouring countries. “This is the biggest exodus since the end of the 1992-1995 war,” he said. 

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Image: Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in amphibious vehicles in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade.
Photographs: Marko Djurica/REUTERS

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PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

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According to official figures, at least 39 people have died in Bosnia alone. “The consequences ... are terrifying,” said Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija, adding, “The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war.” 

In Serbia, about 6,00,000 of its 7.2 million inhabitants were affected by ‘severe floods following the heaviest rains the Balkans have witnessed in 120 years,’ the UN’s World Food Programme said in a statement.

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Image: A man rescues cats from the roof during heavy floods in Vojskova.
Photographs: Srdjan Zivulovica/REUTERS

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PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

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Property damage alone is estimated a $1.37 billion, said Elvir Camdzic, a presidential adviser. Following the mishap, rescue teams, donations, helicopters and boats are being sent from Europe to help Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Turkey, Greece, Norway have all sent aid to the affected countries. 

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Image: Thousands of homes were ravaged by the floods.
Photographs: Marko Djurica/REUTERS

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PHOTOS: Worst floods in 120 years sweep the Balkans; over 4 million affected

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And as if the flooding and property damage was not enough, rescuers must now grapple with another concern: the risk of landmines from the Bosnian war resurfacing. “A vast number of landslides have worsened the situation and relief efforts,” the Red Cross said. “There are reports that landmines buried during the conflict and not yet removed are in some instances being shifted with the landslides, adding (to) the dangers of people living in the areas as well as rescuers,” the Red Cross said.


Image: A member of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina demines an area.
Photographs: Dado Ruvic/REUTERS

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