Balkans Floods Trigger Over 3,000 Landslides

International rescue teams are battling against thousands of landslides as they try to reach victims of the unprecedented flooding in the Balkans.

At least 44 people are now known to have lost their lives in the disaster across Bosnia and Serbia with the death tolls expected to rise further.

Around 3,000 landslides have been reported across the region blocking roads and damaging even more homes.

In the submerged Serbian town of Obrenovac thousands of people have fled.

One of the evacuees, 40-year-old fatherDragan Todorovic, said: “I carried my kids out on my back, then waited 12 hours to be rescued myself.

“The house was new, built two years ago for 100,000 euros. What now?”

Teams are battling to save key power stations including the giant site at Kostolac near the capital Belgrade.

Alma Muslibegovic, a spokeswoman for the country’s EPS power firm, said: “The army, police, volunteers and Kostolac employees are using all mechanisation and are piling up sandbags to slow the river flow and prevent it from entering the power generation system.”

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said a fire and flooding of surface mines at the 1,300 megawatt (MW) Kolubara coal-fired power plant southwest of Belgrade had caused damage of “at least 100 million euros (81m)”.

Authorities say the economic impact of the floods will be huge, devastating the agricultural sector vital to both the Serbian and Bosnian economies.

“The danger today is less than it was yesterday, but we have to control the Sava as much as we can,” MrVucic told a televised Cabinet session.

“These are the kind of waters not seen in 1,000 years, let alone 100.”

Floodwaters have also disturbed land mines leftover from the region’s 1990s war, along with warning signs that marked the unexploded weapons.

19 May 2014 | 3:14 am – Source: orange.co.uk
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