News / Europe

Serbia Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Flood Victims

Serbia Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Flood Victimsi
X
Zlatica Hoke
May 20, 2014 9:52 PM
Serbia has declared three days of mourning for more victims of the worst floods to hit the country in more than a century. Severe flooding this month has killed at least 40 people in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Zlatica Hoke reports on the aftermath of the floods that have devastated large sections of the Balkans.
Zlatica Hoke
Serbia has declared three days of mourning for more victims of the worst floods to hit the country in more than a century.  Severe flooding this month has killed at least 40 people in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic announced Tuesday that May 21, 22 and 23 will be days of national mourning for the victims of the most severe flooding ever recorded in the region.  He did not sound optimistic.

"We thought that because of the weather conditions, and because the water levels of the Sava River were dropping, that we were close to the end, but unfortunately the so-called backwater and the wet dams - by this I mean the fact that sandbags are filled with water - are causing more problems," said Vucic.

Serbia has been the hardest hit in the region.  At least 30,000 people have been evacuated, but many more are believed to have fled the impacted area.  

"In the scale of the material damage, we have been hit 10 times more than all the other countries in the region, and I hope this will not show in the number of victims," said Vucic.

The United States has sent a team of experts to Serbia to assess the damage and has promised 26 tons of humanitarian aid to the Balkans, including rescue boats, cots, blankets, portable kitchens, generators and water pumps.  

Serbian Minister of Economy Dusan Vujovic welcomed the United Nations relief supplies that arrived this week from Italy.   

"I expect that this equipment and food supplies will get to the places where they are needed in the shortest possible time. I have the cargo lists of the delivered aid, and they will be given to the organizations dealing with the coordination and distribution of the aid," said Vujovic.

In neighboring Bosnia, the government says it has evacuated more than a quarter of its 4 million people.  But some refuse to leave their homes.  Nevenka Djuric lost hers once before, during the Bosnian war.  

"In two days, everything was destroyed that we had managed to rebuild since we returned. They say go from here, but where can we go now? We'll accommodate you in another village, they say. But we have cattle. What can we do with them? We make our living out of them," said Djuric.

Bosnian authorities are also warning about the danger of land mines left over from the three-year war of the early 1990s that could have been dislodged by the flooding.
  • Residents try to excavate a car trapped in the mud caused by a landslide at the village of Topcic Polje, near Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • Residents walk on streets covered with mud and rubble after a landslide at the village of Topcic Polje, near Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • Turkeys are seen in front of a flood-damaged house in Topcic Polje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • Serif Gracic poses on the roof of his flood-damaged house in Topcic Polje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • A Slovenian Civil Protection rescue worker saves a dog during heavy floods in the village of Prud, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • Soldiers repair mine warning signs in fields near the banks of the river Bosnia that flooded near the town of Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 20, 2014.
  • Police vehicles drive through a flooded street in Obrenovac, Serbia, May 20, 2014.
  • Flood waters cover the village of Gunja, eastern Croatia, May 18, 2014.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid