Worst Floods In A Century Kill At Least 24 In The Balkans

May 18, 2014

The Balkans are experiencing the worst floods in more than a century.

For our Newscast unit, Joanna Kakissis reports that at least 24 people have been killed in Serbia and Bosnia. She filed this report:

“Floodwaters have been receding in central and western Serbia and northeastern Bosnia — the hardest-hit areas.

“But weather forecasters predict that the Sava River will continue to rise in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

“Soldiers and volunteers have sandbagged a three-mile area around a major coal-fired power plant in Serbia — which has lost 40 percent of its power generation because of the floods.

“Tens of thousands of homes are without electricity in Serbia and neighboring Bosnia.

“Rescue workers have been working into the night to save stranded people. About 20,000 people in Serbia — and another 13,000 in Bosnia — have fled their homes.”

CNN reports that this is the worst flooding Serbia has seen since meteorologists started keeping track 120 years ago.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic called situation “difficult” but said the country was prepared for the flooding that’s to come.

CNN adds that 1,100 people had been flown to safety on helicopters. The network adds:

“The Prime Minister pointed out that a dam 7.3 meters tall (24 feet) has been erected, but that the current level of the Sava River is over 6.3 meters — a historic high. The river is expected to rise. He warned that it is difficult to predict what will happen if the river reaches 6.8 meters, or slightly more than 22 feet.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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