Bulgaria's deadly foods: communities reeling amid cleanup operation

A damaged house stands over the water after the country's record rainfall in Horto village, Pilion region, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.
A damaged house stands over the water after the country's record rainfall in Horto village, Pilion region, central Greece, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023. Copyright Thodoris Nikolaou/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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Bulgaria's Prime Minister has pledged financial aid to flood victims while the Red Cross is providing canned food and water packages to residents affected by the catastrophe

A living nightmare. That's how residents in Bulgaria have described the deadly floods which swept through its southern coast killing at least four people.


Most of the rivers in the region burst their banks and several bridges were destroyed, causing serious traffic problems. More than 1,000 people were stranded, but traffic has now been restored.

"There were a lot of scared people," explained Zapren Filchev, who witnessed the flooding. "There was a woman at the campsite with small children and she said that in the caravan itself, the water was up to her waist and was holding them. They took them into our hotel because they had nowhere to go."

"All night in the restaurant we set up a recovery point - whoever could salvage what luggage, children, blankets, we were like a refugee camp," said another witness, Dr. Petar Petrov.

Video showed cars and camper vans being swept out to sea in the southern resort town of Tsarevo, where authorities declared a state of emergency.

Some residents described how they had lost everything in the floods, but insisted they felt lucky to be alive.

'If we were sleeping, we'd all be at sea. We were sitting in our bathing suits, in our underpants, naked. And now we're trying to save everything, documents, jobs. We have nothing. Mr. Nobody!"

In response, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said flood victims should receive financial aid within two months. 

"Up to 1512 leva is given for damaged houses and premises, where people live. There is another amount - up to 2,500 leva for damaged appliances (amounting to a total of €2,500)," he told reporters.

The Bulgarian Red Cross is now providing canned food and water packages to the victims. 

"The evacuees have been accommodated in private hotels, and in small settlements like Kosti, the mayors have managed to provide logistics and support to the families in distress," said Violeta Radeva, the Head of the Bulgarian Red Cross.

"We have psychologists from all over the country, a professional team of psychologists who are ready to come to the field, trained to work in such a situation," added another Red Cross worker.


Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova said that about 4,000 people were affected by the disaster along the entire southern stretch of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

Damages are yet to be assessed after the disaster, but many predict costs will reach the tens of millions.

Additional sources • AP

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