Bulgaria’s PM on coastal flooding disaster: Two dead, three missing

Two people are dead and three missing after floodwaters inundated the southern Black Sea coastal resort of Tsarevo, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said on September 5 after attending a meeting of the municipal crisis headquarters.

Heavy rain caused severe flooding in several places on Bulgaria’s southern coast, leading to evacuations in places, damaging buildings and campsites, destroying bridges and sweeping vehicles out to sea. Destruction of bridges and damage to roads led to police urging people not to attempt to travel on the road from Bourgas to the southern parts of the coast.

Denkov said that children who had been stranded in a hotel in Rezovo were safe and were accommodated on the upper floors. The ground floor of the hotel is flooded, but there was no danger of collapse, he said.

Power was out in some places and the agreement with the electricity distributor was that power would be restored when it is safe to do so, but that would not happen tonight, Denkov said.

“All the people have been evacuated from the beaches and from the campsites, they are now safe,” he said.

He said that the weather bureau expected the rain to stop and did not expect significant rain in the immediate future.

Denkov said that no one should enter the sea in the next 48 hours, because it was stormy and dangerous.

He said that water in the reticulation network was contaminated. Over the next one to two days, samples would be taken and the water supply utility would announced when it was safe to drink again.

Volunteers travelling to Tsarevo should coordinate with the crisis staff so that the work was distributed and to know who was doing what.

Denkov said that the flooding was the result of a huge amount of rainfall, not because of uncleaned riverbeds.

Food and water are being provided for those in need, he said.

“There are no dams in the region that would pose an immediate danger to populated areas. Hydro pumps are on, they are working, no problems are expected with them,” Denkov said.

More than 100 people have been evacuated, Tsarevo mayor Georgi Lapchev said.

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