By Maja Tuljkovic – Sarajevo
Floods caused by heavy rainfall, which has been falling steadily for several days has created big problems in many B&H cities, with the situation in Sarajevo Canton, in Tuzla Canton and Zenica-Doboj Canton characterised as alarming.
Since 1892, when the Hydro–Meteorological measurements in B&H began, these is the highest recorded precipitation yet. More than 100 litres of rain fell in some parts of B&H in 48 hours, and somewhere even 150 litres of rain per square meter.
Residents of Osjek and Dogloda in Ilidza, Sarajevo have been struggling with the situation of natural disaster for 24 hours now. The flood is destroying their houses and crops and many were forced to move out of their houses. Around 50 houses have been flooded in Dogloda district, while nearly 100 houses have been flooded in Osjek. Members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade transport medication and water to people of these areas by boats, because due to the floods, in these parts there is no electricity, nor drinking water. Many residents had to leave their houses.
The water level in some parts of Maglaj is higher than the height of the traffic signs. All the streets leading to the city have been closed for traffic since morning. Many citizens are on the roofs of the building, waiting for help.
The B&H Presidency, due to the situation caused by floods, has held an urgent session this morning to discuss ways to help civilian organs and citizens of B&H. B&H Presidency made the decision that all the available human resources and material–technical means of the B&H Armed Forces to be involved in providing assistance to the civilian organs and B&H citizens, in response to the new situation created, caused by floods in the B&H territory. In addition, helicopters of the B&H Armed Forces are being involved in helping and evacuating those at risk.
Watercourses of rivers in the central and north-eastern Bosnia have reached historic highs. The biggest problem is the river Bosna in the area of Reljevo, where the water level has reached 498 cm. The water level in Zenica is higher than five meters, and more can not be measured because there is no water gauge rail. The water level of MiljackaRiver in Sarajevo is decreasing, but yesterday the water level was 250cm. During the increase of the water level of Miljacka river the riverbed stone wall collapsed near the bridge Ćumurija, resulting in the suspension of the tram traffic.
There is an interruption of the electricity in several cities due to the flooded power facilities. The traffic has been suspended in some of the main regional roads in B&H due to the rivers’ overflowing.
Prime Minister of Federation of B&H, Nermin Nikšić, is visiting the flooded areas, and according to the latest information from the government of FB&H, which is in a continuous session, information from the Headquarters of FB&H Civil Protection is expected any time now and most likely FB&H will be declared in a state of emergency.