Bulgaria grapples with aftermath of torrential rain

Several municipalities in Bulgaria are still in dire straits after the floods of recent days, with the situation still serious after heavy rainfall in Varna, Bourgas, Dobrich and Smolyan, the Interior Ministry said on February 2.

The search was continuing for three people swept away by floodwaters in Petrich and Devin.

Late on the afternoon on February 2, the evacuation was ordered of three villages in the Varna region – Velichkovo, Grozdyovo and Dubravino – because it was expected that the area would be inundated. Up to 500 people were to be evacuated.

Heavy rain has damaged roads in southern and eastern parts of the country, with the places most affected including Varna, Bourgas, Smolyan, Dobrich, Kurdjali and Haskovo.

In many places the danger remained of landslides and falling rocks, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said.

Over the past two days, more than 1100 members of rescue, emergency and auxiliary teams have been deployed. According to official figures, more than 250 people were evacuated in flood-hit places in south-eastern Bulgaria on February 1.

More than 400 firefighters, rescue workers and police were at work to deal with the flood situation on February 2.

Teams were montoring water levels in rivers and reservoirs.

In neighbouring Greece, continuous rainfall has caused serious problems in a large part of the country, especially in Western Greece, the Independent Balkan News Agency said.

Storm winds, continuous rainfall and storms caused rivers to overflow, with the cities Arta, Evritania, Ioannina, Thesprotia and Preveza were in a state of emergency.

Villages were evacuated, landslides occurred, rivers overflowed, while the historic bridge of Plaka collapsed.



The Sofia Globe staff

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