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Catastrophic flooding hits Balkans

Catastrophic flooding hits Balkans
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Much of eastern Europe is experiencing some of its worst flooding in decades. In Albania, a combination of heavy snow followed by equally heavy rain has caused rivers to burst their banks.

The authorities have been forced to discharge water from three hydro-electric power stations after danger levels were reached.

Hardest-hit is Albania’s northwest where EU countries have sent boats, pumps and food to help out while 700 Albanian troops have been called up to organise an evacuation of thousands of people trapped in their homes from rising flood waters.

The situation is also critical in other parts of the Adriatic hinterland. Central Croatia and parts of Bosnia are struggling where it has been raining for days with little sign of a change in the weather.

An artificial lake in Croatia’s Kosinj valley has overflowed and, in some areas, water levels were reported to be rising by eight centimetres an hour.

Local residents are on standby to be evacuated while, nearby, electricity had to be cut off to about 150 homes due to the threat of electric shocks.

And, in Bosnia, the situation is worst in the central and southern parts of the country where the impact of torrential rain and flooding is being described as a catastrophe.

Some residents are hoping to sit it out, refusing to leave their flooded homes for fear of what might become of their possessions.