- State of emergency declared
- Thousands of emergency personnel on standby
- Critics say 2014 lessons not learned
A state of emergency has been declared in the wake of severe floods in Serbia.
The government says it is a preventive measure to allow the authorities to respond quickly if conditions worsen.
The south-west of the country has been particularly badly-hit by the rising waters. Cacak, Lucani and Novi Pasar are the worst-hit areas. 1,000 police and military personnel have been deployed in Novi Pasar.
An estimated 2,000 people are on standby to respond. More than 1000 vehicles are also ready.
Levels falling but threat remains
River levels are receding now but officials say the threat of flooding remains.
30 litres of rain per square metre have fallen in the last 24 hours.
Serbia was last hit by severe flooding in May 2014.
More than 30,000 were forced from their homes. Roads, railways, bridges and homes were destroyed.
The total cost has been estimated at 1.5 billion euros.
The latest floods in Serbia pic.twitter.com/sq19U7BIRt— Serbian World (@SerbianWorld) March 9, 2016
FK Mladost stadium is flooded (Aleksandar Icelic). Prayers go out to everyone in Serbia dealing with these floods. pic.twitter.com/9X9qZ135BM— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) March 8, 2016
What they are saying
“The government will have daily meetings at the emergency headquarters and will continuously monitor the situation in the field and keep citizens informed.” Government statement
“The bad news is that the rain has been falling for 24 hours straight and reports say it will continue raining for several days”=+*Government Vice-President Rasim Ljajic*.