Hundreds evacuated, 1 dead in East Europe floods

By on July 30, 2014


BUCHAREST, Romania — One person died and several hundreds were forced to evacuate as surging floodwaters submerged villages in Eastern Europe on Tuesday.

In Bulgaria, authorities said a 61-year-old woman died in the floods and another person was reported missing after torrential rains hit the region of Gabrovo in the central parts of the country.

Seventy Bulgarian villages and parts of the city of Gabrovo were left without electricity and water supply was disrupted as the flooding destroyed some of the water and sewerage infrastructure. The rains also induced landslides and destroyed bridges, and many roads in the region were blocked by mud and debris.

Ion Manta, deputy mayor of the southwestern Romanian town Novaci, said 500 people had been evacuated from three villages there and some 75 houses were cut off by floods after the River Gilort burst its banks. A local government official said waters reached 3 meters (10 feet).

The Romanian government sent three helicopters to flooded areas in the foothills of the Parang mountains. Prime Minister Victor Ponta, accompanied by aides, arrived in the area in the afternoon.

Dozens of emergency workers were deployed to the areas in Bulgaria and Romania, and forecasters issued the red code weather warning for both counties Tuesday.

Romania has had its wettest summer in years and the heavy rainfall has also caused several flash floods in eastern Bulgaria this summer. The heaviest rains were in the Black Sea resort city of Varna in June, when 13 people were killed.