Hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were forced to evacuate their homes on Sunday, after floodwaters caused more than 3,000 landslides in the Balkans.
Bosnia and Serbia have been pounded by three months worth of rain in recent days, producing the worst floods the Balkans have seen since they began measuring rainfall over 120 years ago.
At least 35 people have died as a result of the flooding, hundreds of thousands have had to be evacuated, and about a quarter of Bosnia-Hercegovina’s four million people are without clean water.
The floodwaters hit Bosnia the worst, managing to wipe out entire villages. Helicopter airlifts rushed to pluck families from rooftops but more than 100,000 houses and other buildings were destroyed and the road infrastructure was also badly damaged. To sum up, it’s pretty bad.
Foreign minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said the destruction was “terrifying” and compared it to Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.
“The consequences of the floods are terrifying,” Lagumdzija said.
“The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war.”
“During the war many people lost everything. Today, again they have nothing.”
And to make matters worse, floodwaters are threatening major power plants and have unearthed land mines leftover from the region’s war in the 1990s. Nearly 120,000 unexploded landmines remain in more than 9,400 carefully marked minefields, but the flood-induced landslides may have knocked a few loose.
“We are faced with the biggest problem and disaster after the war,” Ahdin Orahovac, director of Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre, said.
“All of our mine warning signs have been moved. We have to warn our local population that they shouldn’t hurry back to their homes because there are many locations where landmines are now in new places.”
But with every cloud spewing out torrential rains, there’s a silver lining: cute pictures of animals being rescued!
Wait a minute… where are all the cat rescue pictures???