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Heaviest rainfall in a century leads to flooding and deaths across Balkans

Six bodies were found in one town alone, while one victim drowned after falling from the stairs.

DEADLY FLOODS ACROSS Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century.

“Six bodies were found in the northern Bosnian town of Doboj after floods started to withdraw from the streets. Unfortunately, this is probably not the final toll,” Milorad Dodik, president of Serb-run entity in Bosnia, told reporters.

Bosnia Balkans Floods Members of the Bosnian army rescue a woman stranded in her home due to flooding, in the Bosnian town of Maglaj, 150 kms north of Sarajevo Source: AP/Press Association Images

Another victim drowned in the town of Samac having fallen from the stairs, police chief Gojko Vasic was quoted by Fena news agency as saying.

Four victims were found in Bosnia and three in Serbia on Friday.

Serbia

In Serbia, “rescuers have started recovering dead bodies from flooded areas, but we will not make the number public before the complete withdrawal of the water,” Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters.

More than 15,000 people have been evacuated from a number of towns throughout Serbia, hit by what Vucic called “a horrible natural catastrophe.”

Serbia Floods A flooded basketball board by the banks of the Sava river in Sremska Mitrovica, 90 kilometers west of Belgrade, Serbia Source: AP/Press Association Images

The most critical situation in Serbia was still in the town of Obrenovac, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) north of Belgrade, where all 20,000 residents were being evacuated amid warnings of further flooding in the afternoon, Predrag Maric of the emergency services said.

He urged citizens and companies to provide humanitarian aid, food, water and clothes.

Volunteer help

Thousands of volunteers from Belgrade, Novi Sad and other towns went overnight to help set up flood defences in the western town of Sabac, where the Sava river has risen well above historic levels.

“Dozens of other cities throughout Serbia were devastated by floods,” Maric said.

Serbia Floods Source: AP/Press Association Images

Over the border in Bosnia, local authorities have begun evacuating five villages around the eastern town of Bjeljina, which has also lost electricity.

Downstream in neighbouring Croatia, officials were on high alert amid fears that the river Sava will overflow and flood the east of the country.

Both Vucic and Dodik expressed gratitude for the rescue teams and equipment sent by Russia and several EU states.

- © AFP, 2014

Read: 350 dead and 2,500 feared lost after landslide flattens Afghan town>

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