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Balkan Countries Scramble to Deal With Fallout From Record Floods

Three months worth of rainfall dumped over the region have impacted thousands of residents in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Photo via AP

Balkan countries are scrambling to rescue victims and battling landslides as the fallout continues from the worst floods seen in the area since modern recording began 120 years ago.

Three months worth of rainfall dumped over the region in three days have impacted thousands of residents in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and killed at least 25 people.

Around 2,000 landslides have been reported in various parts of Bosnia where the landscape has been rendered almost unrecognizable and flood waters have unearthed landmines remaining from the war that broke out in the war that broke out in the region in the 1990s.

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There are fears that the estimated 1 million unexploded devices planted in Bosnia between 1992-95 could be disturbed or dislodged by the floods.

Houses, roads and cars are submerged under muddied waters in the worst-hit areas, as seen in aerial footage of towns like Brcko in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, which lies along the burst banks of the Sava river.

This video is described as showing Brcko, one of the worst affected towns, situated in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 17.

Severe flooding in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina has killed over 20 people and forced thousands to evacuate their homes in recent days.

On the Bosna River, a tributary that flows into the Sava, an entire bridge with street lamps and sections of road, is seen being swept downstream by the current.

"I am homeless. I have nothing left, not even a toothpick," a resident of the village of Horozovina, Mesan Ikanovic, told the Associated Press. "I ran out of the house barefoot, carrying children in my arms."

Officials estimate that a third of Bosnia and Herzegovina's population, around one million people, reside in flood-ravaged areas.

In eastern parts of neighboring Croatia, the Sava, which also flows through part of the country's relatively flat landscape, swelled and overwhelmed farmland and villages.

Meanwhile, in areas surrounding Serbia's capital, near where the Danube and Sava rivers converge, thousands were evacuated as waters rose by nearly 330 feet.

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In Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, residents were captured leaving on motorboats through tree-lined streets formerly paved by roads. Officials said 12 bodies had been uncovered from the town alone.

These videos show evacuations through flooded streets and are described as shot in Obrenovac on May 17.

Serbian officials estimate 20,000 people have been evacuated and expressed concern of more flooding late Sunday as water levels of the Sava continue to rise over the next two days before subsiding.

"What happened to us happens not once in 100 years, but once in 1,000 years," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on a live Serbian television broadcast. "But it should be over by Wednesday."

Follow Liz Fields on Twitter: @lianzifields