Monday, December 6, 2010


11,000 evacuated from homes in Albanian floods

More than 11,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Albania due to floods that have hit the country in the past week.

Albania flooding
The flooded area in Shkodra district, 75 miles (120 kilometres) northwest of the Albanian capital, Tirana, along the Drini River delta Photo: AP

In Bosnia, a woman was killed on Sunday in the northern town of Tuzla when her home collapsed after a landslide triggered by heavy rains.

"The situation is critical and there are still regions in the northern part of [Albania] that are isolated" due to floods, a civil service spokesman Leonard Olli said.

Some 7,500 houses have been damaged and 2,600 were completely flooded, he said.

Main entrances into the northern town of Shkodra were still blocked on Sunday while several parts of the town where the water level is higher than two meters (3.2 feet) have no electricity.

At least 1,400 police and soldiers have been deployed in the northern region to help with the evacuation of residents and to secure food for them.

Albanian authorities on Saturday called for NATO'S help to be able to cope with the situation.

"Turkey already sent overnight to Albania three helicopters with a medical team and humanitarian aid while two other helicopters have arrived on Sunday from Greece," Mr Olli said.

Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto on Sunday called a meeting with EU and Nato ambassadors to Albania to ask for their countries' help.

In neighbouring Montenegro, the situation was still serious on Sunday in the region of Lake Skadar, on the border with Albania and around the capital Podgorica.

More than 1,000 soldiers were called to help the population.

In Plavnica, near Podgorica, Nikica, a two-tonne hippopotamus, had to leave her flooded pen in a private zoo, after a similar evacuation in January floods.

The border river Drina between Serbia and Bosnia has begun to decrease while the waters of the Sava river in the northwest continued to threaten surrounding areas.

In Bosnia, thousands of people have been evacuated due to the floods in the past week, notably in the east and south.

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