Thousands flee deadly floods in Serbia and Bosnia

A member of the Bosnian army carries a boy rescued from his home, during floods, in the Bosnian town of Maglaj, 150 kms north of Sarajevo, Friday May 16, 2014. Photo: AP
Tens of thousands of people fled their homes Monday in Bosnia and Serbia, as rising floodwaters surged into villages and towns, killing at least 37 people as authorities said the death toll from the record flooding could rise.

The heaviest rains since records began almost 120 years ago have hit Serbia and Bosnia, cutting off power and causing more than 2,000 landslides.
Floods in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia have killed at least 37 people and left tens of thousands homeless.
Thousands have been evacuated from homes in central and western areas of Serbia and in neighbouring Bosnia.
In Serbia 6,000 people have been forced out of their homes.
Thousands more are still awaiting evacuation as river levels reach a critical mark, notably on the Sava and Morava river, weather services said.
Serbia\’s main power plant is still at risk of flooding. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes.
Bosnian Refugee Minister Adil Osmanovic described the flooding as "catastrophic".
Many people have crammed into boats and army trucks to escape the water. Much of the region has no electricity.
The Serbian government ordered emergency supplies from neighbouring countries, after two hydro-power plants endangered by the floods were closed down.
The rain caused more than 2,000 landslides in hilly Bosnia, officials say, enveloping roads, homes and whole villages.
Rescuers are urging people to go to the balconies or rooftops of their houses with bright fabric to make themselves visible.
The north-eastern part of Bosnia is reported to be especially badly affected, with houses, roads and rail lines submerged.
The floods have caused more than 2,000 landslides and are uncovering mines left over from the Balkan wars of the early 1990s.
Russian cargo planes and helicopters from the European Union are helping with the relief efforts.
Experts say the jet stream stalled a huge front over the Balkans, dumping about four months\’ worth of rain in just a few days.
Pope Francis is asking the world to pray for victims of the worst flooding to hit the Balkans in more than a century.
Francis told his weekly Sunday audience at the Vatican that he feels personal closeness to those living through pain and trouble.
Large parts of eastern Croatia are also underwater, with villages still cut off and hundreds forced to escape the flooded zone in boats and trucks.
Officials say that three months\’ worth of rain has fallen on the Balkans in recent days, producing the worst floods since rainfall measurements began 120 years ago.
Source: Agencies
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