Balkan floods: '1.5 million people' affected in Bosnia
Monday, May 19, 2014
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - The Balkans' worst floods for more than 120 years have affected nearly 1.5 million people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Deputy Minister for Security, Samir Agic, has told the Anadolu Agency.
At least 35 people have died and entire towns have been submerged since floodwaters swept through the region following continuous heavy downpours which began in late April. Other Balkan countries, including Serbia and Croatia, have also been affected.
Agic said on Monday that the disaster had left more than 700,000 homeless and many people were suffering poor health and sickness through lack of food and medication.
- Water, electricity cut off
At least 25,000 people have been rescued from the waters that engulfed their houses by helicopters, Agic said.
But he added that more people had begun returning home as the floodwaters were beginning to recede.
About 300,000 people in Serbia and 50,000 in Bosnia had their electricity and drinking water supplies cut off, leaving many living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Rescue coordinators have appealed for food, water and essential needs to help those affected, and humanitarian support has streamed in from across the world.
Turkey's Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency has sent supplies and equipment for use in search-and-rescue operations including a C-130 cargo aircraft, and more than 100,000 sandbags, blankets, and generators, the presidency said in a statement.
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