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Obrenovac: Serbia's flood-hit 'ghost-town'

Obrenovac: Serbia's flood-hit 'ghost-town'
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The streets are rivers. Most people have left.

Obrenovac, some 30 kilometres southwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade, has been devastated by flooding that has claimed the lives of at least a dozen of its citizens.

Many others have returned to find their homes and belongings in ruins.

Perched on the windowsill of what remains of his house, resident Goran Djordjevic said: “All that I had is lost. We have nothing now. The house is broken.”

While thousands left the town, some elderly residents chose to stay, taking refuge upstairs in their homes.

Rescue workers and volunteers tour the streets, trying to make sure they have enough to eat.

Receiving a welcome bread delivery hoisted up to her window, one elderly woman asked for the time, explaining that she had a clock but no batteries.

Sandbag barriers have been built in desperate efforts to protect Serbia’s biggest power plant which is situated at Obrenovac. It covers roughly half the country’s electricity needs.

While parts have already been shut down as a precaution, it would have to be powered down completely if floodwaters breach the defences.

Djina Trisovic, a union spokeswoman at Serbia’s EPS power utility, said some members of staff had worked three days with barely a break because their relief teams could not reach the plant.

“We’ve done all we could,” she said. “Now it’s in the hands of God.”