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Monday 23 July 2018

Snow and floods bring havoc to Balkans

Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Romania are among the countries worst hit.

Municipal workers clear ice and snow from the platforms of the Gara de Nord, the main railway station in Bucharest, Romania (Vadim Ghirda/AP)
Municipal workers clear ice and snow from the platforms of the Gara de Nord, the main railway station in Bucharest, Romania (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Heavy snow and flooding have wreaked havoc across large parts of the Balkans, forcing road closures, flooding homes and stopping ferries along the Adriatic coast.

The spate of fresh snow came as Croatia was already struggling to contain overflowing rivers that were swollen from melting snow.

Croatian authorities said that only small vehicles were allowed on main roads leading towards the coast while trucks or buses could not pass. Citizens have been urged to avoid travelling.

Snow has also fallen in neighbouring Serbia, surprising the region in early spring, while a thaw has brought flooding to Bosnia.

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Travellers on a platform at the Gara de Nord, the main railway station in Bucharest (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

The US embassy in the Serbian capital Belgrade announced it was closing on Friday due to inclement weather and that appointments for consular services had been suspended.

In Albania, snow and rain cut off parts of the north and north west, with 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) of land, 680 houses and many schools affected by flooding.

Families were evacuated from flood-stricken areas and given shelter by authorities.

Some 200 army emergency personnel handed out food packages, drinking water and food for livestock in rural areas.

Many villages were without power and only reachable by boat.

In Romania, heavy snow and high winds led to schools being closed in the capital Bucharest and 10 other counties.

Six major motorways were closed due to snow, with traffic restricted on other roads, and more than 50 trains did not run as scheduled.

Press Association

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