Boats Pluck People from Roofs as Sloods Sweep Serbia and Bosnia

Posted by Eric Haun
Friday, May 16, 2014

Boats sailed through the streets of a Serbian town on Friday on a mission to rescue people trapped by rising waters as the worst floods ever recorded swept Serbia and Bosnia.

Some residents of Obrenovac, 30 km (20 miles) southwest of the capital Belgrade, were stranded on the roofs of their homes, calling for help. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said all 25,000 citizens would have to be evacuated.

At least five people have died in the unfolding disaster this week. Thousands have been evacuated from homes in central and western areas of Serbia and in neighbouring Bosnia.

Around 135,000 households were without power across Serbia and the government approved emergency electricity imports. Another 65,000 were without electricity in Bosnia.

"This is a catastrophe. Nature has never been so cruel to us," Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic said.

The heaviest rains since records began almost 120 years ago have hit Serbia and Bosnia this week. Three people, including a rescue worker, drowned in Serbia. At least two villagers died in landslides near the northern Bosnian town of Bijeljina.

The deluge has made many hillsides unstable in the mountainous region. Several people were injured when houses were destroyed by a landslide on the edge of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

Bosnia's Centre for the Removal of Landmines warned that mines laid during the country's 1992-95 war could be moved by floods and landslides.

Fleeing on Foot
In Bosnia, an army helicopter evacuated a pregnant woman in labour from her flooded house in the town of Doboj and took her to hospital in the central town of Zenica. Low clouds and fog were making rescue efforts difficult.

In the village of Topcic Polje, near Zenica, a landslide devoured dozens of houses and water flooded the main road.

Villagers fled on foot along railway tracks with bags and babies in their arms.

"The people are walking to Zenica, all the roads are jammed, we are stuck here and there is no help from anyone," villager Asim Skopljak told Reuters by telephone from Topcic Polje. "There is no electricity and no drinking water."

Surges of high water were expected to reach the major rivers Sava and Danube later in the day and over the weekend, threatening thousands more people and roads, meteorologists in Serbia said.

Bosnia's central government appealed on Friday for international help. Russian emergency teams with rescue boats arrived in Serbia on Friday and were heading for Obrenovac to help with the operation there.

Israel, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Luxembourg have pledged to send aid including expert teams, water pumps, helicopters and rescue boats.

The United States said it would send 13 motor boats needed for evacuations in Bosnia.

Poland also saw less severe flooding after the torrential rains across eastern Europe.

The road to the Slovak border crossing in the southern village of Leluchow was closed and dozens of houses on the bank of the river Poprad were inundated.

Some local trains were out of service, Poland's state railways PKP said. News agency PAP reported that 21,000 people in the south had no electricity.

(By Fedja Grulovic; Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac, Daria Sito-Sucic, Maja Zuvela, Dado Ruvic and Wojciech Zurawski in Poland; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Andrew Roche)

Maritime Today

The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter November 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


It's All in the Planning

Continuing voracious demand for mined materials in China, India and other developing nations has led to an associated requirement for increased bulk terminal capacity

Alfa Laval Debuts Inline Scrubber Design

Alfa Laval’s PureSOx exhaust gas cleaning system platform now includes an inline scrubber design: I-design.   “Through open-loop, closed-loop and hybrid arrangements,

Fugro to Survey off Equatorial Guinea

Fugro has been awarded a contract by Ophir Equatorial Guinea (Block R) Limited for the provision of survey services for the development of large scale assets and


Scorpio Bulkers Sells Six Ships for $227 Mln

Scorpio Bulkers Inc. has entered into agreements with unaffiliated third parties to sell two Capesize dry bulk vessels and four newbuilding Capesize dry bulk vessels

Rocket Debris Found Near Isles of Scilly

A piece of metal thought to be debris from an American space rocket was recovered from the sea off the Isles of Scilly.   The metal – a large section of alloy about 10 meters by 4 meters,

NY/NJ Port Authority Sees Debt Issuance of $1.2 bln in 2016

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey sees consolidated debt issuance of $1.2 bln in 2016 compared with $1.5 bln this year, according to its $7.9 billion 2016 budget released on Monday.

Maritime Safety

Passengers Transferred from Stranded Ferry

Passengers were transferred from Indonesia-registered Sea Prince after the ferry struck a floating object after leaving the Nongsapura ferry terminal in Batam late on November 29.

RINA Launches Competence Management System Certification

International classification society RINA Services has launched a new Competence Management System certification which it says helps ship owners and managers to

Panama-Registered Ship Sinks off Vigan City

A Panamanian cargo vessel MV Fortune Life sank off the coast 130 nautical off Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), uthorities said.   The

Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0764 sec (13 req/sec)