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Heavy floods in Bulgaria kill one person, trigger evacuations

Source: Reuters - Sun, 3 Aug 2014 08:39 GMT
Author: Reuters
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SOFIA, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Rescue teams evacuated over 500 people overnight from the small Bulgarian town of Mizia after torrential rains caused flooding that claimed at least one casualty, an interior ministry official said on Sunday.

Rescue teams with boats and helicopters were still evacuating stranded people on Sunday. One man was found dead in his flooded home, said Nikola Nikolov, head of the ministry's fire safety and civil protection unit.

Over 50 houses have collapsed after the Skut River, which runs through the town, burst its banks. Hundreds of houses remain under water. Another town and several villages in the northwestern area, which is close to the Danube, were also hit by floods.

"It was terrible, terrible. The water kept coming and coming. My home is under water. Luckily I have an aunt who lives in the higher parts of the town. I think we will be at least 30 people in that house tonight," Valia Mircheva, a farmer from Mizia, told BTV television.

The rains have ceased, and weather forecasters say they do not expect heavy rain in the next few days.

Floods this summer have killed more than 15 people in Balkan countries Bulgaria and Romania.

Three people drowned in southwestern Romania and another was missing after heavy floods last week, which hit over 250 villages and triggered the evacuation of over 2,000 people.

Around 11 Bulgarians died after a flood wave ripped through the Black Sea city of Varna in June.

In late May, Balkan countries Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia were hit by the heaviest rainfall since records began 120 years ago. (Reporting By Tsvetelia Tsolova, additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest; editing by Jane Baird)

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