Europe

Bosnia and Serbia floods: EU promises fast delivery of aid

  • 21 May 2014
  • From the section Europe
A man stands near his house damaged by flooding and a landslide in Krupanj, Serbia
Image caption Officials say the damage from the flooding and landslide is at least as bad as that from the 1992-95 war

The EU has promised the speedy delivery of aid for Bosnia and Serbia, both observing national mourning after devastating floods over the weekend.

EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva is in the Serbian capital Belgrade to discuss the aid response.

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is also due in Sarajevo.

At least 40 people have died in the two countries after flooding caused by unprecedented torrential rain, with thousands more displaced.

"What we must do is to focus on fighting the floods that are still not yet over," Ms Georgieva told the BBC.

She said the EU would be helping "cater for humanitarian needs of the severely affected population", including the provision of safe drinking water.

Image caption The floods triggered huge landslides

Bosnia-Hercegovina's foreign minister said on Monday that a quarter of the country's people were without clean water, and that the physical destruction wrought by the floods was at least as bad as that caused by the 1992-95 war.

He also said there had been about 2,000 landslides, some of which were on minefields left over from the war. Nearly 120,000 unexploded landmines remain in more than 9,400 carefully marked minefields.

The mayor of Belgrade Sinisa Mali said the city was still on alert because of the high level of the River Sava, which flows into the city where it meets the Danube.

"We are expecting it to peak on Wednesday and then again on Friday. If we get through that we can say we have protected Belgrade," Mr Mali said, according to AFP.

There are also concerns over the possibility of disease being spread by thousands of carcasses of dead animals which are starting to rot in rising temperatures.

Volunteer and army teams are struggling to dispose of them, with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic saying this would be a priority.

Image caption The floods are the worst in the region in living memory
Image caption The Serbian town of Krupanj was reportedly cut off for four days

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