Floodwaters soak homes, cut roads in Serbia and Bosnia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia has introduced emergency measures in a number of municipalities after heavy rains in the past few days caused widespread damage and floodwaters burst into homes and cutting off roads, authorities said Tuesday.

Surging rivers led to around 700 houses being flooded in western and central Serbia, according to public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia. Some 70 families in the western town of Ljubovija and hundreds more in central Serbia were forced to evacuate their homes.

Serbian army personnel stepped in to help bolster flood defenses in some areas. Local officials in the central town of Arilje said some people were moved to a local sports hall while electricity and water supplies had to be switched off.

A local official in Ljubovija, Milan Kovacevic, described the situation there as “dramatic" after the Ljubovidja river overwhelmed flood protection in some places. Dozens of people have been left without electricity or water.

“Everyone was doing their best to beef up the banks, but it wasn't enough," he told RTS. The broadcaster reported that three bridges in the town were destroyed.

Traffic has also been snarled as the rivers burst their banks and there are mounting concerns of landslides.

In neighboring Bosnia, a landslide cut a key road connecting the central town of Tuzla with the capital Sarajevo.

Floods also have hit a western area in Bosnia, damaging roads, bridges and houses in the Balkan country.

Both Serbia and Bosnia were hit by major flooding in 2014 when dozens of people died and entire towns were soaked under water.

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