By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
State of emergency is declared in 16 towns in Serbia due to heavy rains and floods in last two days. One person has drowned in Umcari, near Belgrade. The most endangered areas are Valjevo and Sabac in the western part of the country. Schools in Belgrade will be closed until Monday. Forecasters say that heavy precipitation, strong wind and low temperature will continue in days to come. Hydrological service warns that water level is rising on all rivers.
Until Thursday morning, at least 80 persons have been evacuated including nine minors. The rescue teams including military units are deployed in the flooded areas.
During the night, interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has visited Lazarevac municipality, 60 kilometers south-west from Belgrade. Stefanovic said that policemen and gendarmes were “actively engaged” in assistance providing and evacuations, suggesting to citizens to call the nearest police stations in the case of need.
The head of State of emergency sector Predrag Maric expects today „the most difficult situation“. He said additional evacuation and flood defend teams are engaged. „The most important task is to save the lives of the people until Friday, when we expect better weather conditions”.
Elementary and high schools in Belgrade are closed until Monday. Mayor Sinisa Mali said “situation is not simple at all”. “We have serious problems. Schools will be closed in order crowds and possible accidents to be avoided. All the resources will be engaged”.
“One person has drowned in Umcari because it had ignored evacuation calls. The priority is to avoid such situations”, Mali said.