Torrential rainfall in Bulgaria has caused unprecedented flooding across the country, killing at least 11 people with several others still missing. The worst of the floods struck late yesterday, Thursday 19 June 2014, although Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast had seen some minor flooding a few days earlier.
Many of the victims are thought to have been in Varna. Two others are understood to have been in Dobrich where as many as 150 people had to be evacuated.
Along the Black Sea Coast the worst hit areas are Varna and Burgas, some of the more densely populated communities in the region. Weather experts claims that the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain fell in just 24 hours. Further rainfall has been forecast for northern and eastern Bulgaria for the next 24 hours.
The flooding destroyed houses and roads in particular in the Asparuhouvo area of Varna Some reports claim that cars were floating along streets and in some cases piled on top of each other. Flood water was over 1 metre in some areas. Storms and strong winds also lead to power outages. Regional Police say that several bodies have been found near Varna after they had been swept away by flood water.
In Kilifarevo in central Bulgaria around 11 people had to be rescued from the roofs of houses after they took refuge from the flood water. Other areas near to the capital Sofia have also been affected, including in Chavdar where over 100 homes have been damaged by floods. Bulgarian Emergency services dealt with over 150 calls for rescue assistance.
A National Day of mourning has been declared for 23 June 2014 to honour the memory of the victims.
The tragedy comes after last month’s horrific flooding in the neighbouring Balkan country of Serbia, and also Croatia and Bosnia, where a total of 40 people died.