100s Evacuated After Floods in Southern Bulgaria

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The heavy rain affecting parts of Italy earlier this week moved eastwards to drench several areas of Bulgaria yesterday.

Flooding has been reported in the north west and south east of the country, affecting the provinces of Vidin, Burgas, Yambol, Haskovo and Sliven. Sofia news agency Novinite reported today that several rivers and dams had overflowed, including the Ticha dam in Shumen province in the north east.

In Yambol, south east Bulgaria, around 100 people had to be evacuated after flooding in the Straldzha area. Also in Yambol, levels of the Tundzha River were dangerously high in Elhovo municipality, threatening the homes of around 200 people.

Elsewhere in the south, floods have affected the municipalities of Topolovgrad, Simeonovgrad and Dimitrovgrad in Haskovo province. In the north west of the county, in Vidin province, around 30 villages were left without power or drinking water after a storm.

2014 – Bulgaria’s Worst Year for Natural Disasters

Last month the Bulgarian TV channel bTV said that 2014 had been the most disastrous year in Bulgaria in modern times.

11 people died in floods in June this year. The country was hammered by heavy rain and flooding on a regular basis from June onwards. Some areas saw 3 months of rain fall in just a few hours.

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Cars on the flooded streets of Varna, Bulgaria. Photo: InnaMUFC_Vettel @ twitter

Floods in Bulgaria have claimed a further 7 lives since June, bringing the total number of flood victims in 2014 to 18.

In 2014, Bulgarian emergency and rescue services responded to 600 crisis situations caused by natural disasters. In 2013 the number figure was just 70.

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August 2014 – Mizia floods from the air – Photo Bulgaria Ministry of Defence

As quoted by Novinite, Georgi Korchev of Bulgaria’s Meteorology and Hydrology Institute said “In the context of climate change, frequency and intensity of extreme weather instances increases and people should be more careful.”