Heavy rains in the Balkans caused floods, killing 6 people

Heavy rains in the Balkans over the past two days have led to floods that have killed at least six people, prompted widespread evacuations and caused significant damage, authorities said Monday.

It was one of the hardest hit areas in northwest Albania, with thousands of acres of farmland and hundreds of homes inundated. Authorities evacuated dozens of families amid power outages.

Early Monday, police divers found the bodies of two missing men, a father and son whose car had washed away Sunday in the village of Boj, about 90 miles north of the capital, Tirana.

Swollen rivers in Montenegro and parts of Serbia claimed four lives over the weekend. A woman and her two children drowned in Montenegro when their car plunged into a river while driving over a bridge. In southern Serbia, a two-year-old boy drowned after falling into a river.

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Authorities in the Raska region of southern Serbia declared a state of emergency due to heavy flooding, and the army was deployed to help local residents with evacuations and deliver drinking water and food.

Heavy rains that reached 14 inches in 12 hours on Sunday caused the Drini River, Albania’s longest, to overflow by at least 4 inches, according to authorities.

At least 7,500 acres of farmland in Shkoder and Lisi counties, about 60 miles northwest of Tirana, were flooded.

A policeman looks at a flooded area near the town of Shkoder, northwest Albania, on November 21, 2022.

Hundreds of army soldiers were sent to evacuate families after more than 600 homes were flooded.

“For the time being, Shkoder is isolated from the rest of the country,” said Mayor Barde Sabhia.

Farmers, who had repeatedly suffered from floods in the post-communist era, despaired of their losses, including livestock, and asked the government for help.

“We need government help because the damage from the floods is very serious,” said Lina Zevi, 60, in the village of Kok, less than 6 miles from Shkoder.

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The historic 18th-century Rasas Mosque in Shkodër was also submerged – after suffering damage from past floods.

The floods also affected areas in western Kosovo, causing some damage to buildings and the closure of schools but no injuries were reported.

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