A group is evacuated from the floods
in Obrenovac, Serbia (Image: Alexa Stankovic/AFP/Getty Images)
week of devastating floods and landslides in the Balkans has killed at least 35
people. More rainfall could be on its way
region has suffered its worst deluge since 1894, with more than 10 centimetres
falling on 14 and 15 May. The UK Met
Office says a slow-moving area of low pressure prolonged the downpour.
bad weather has now moved away east, so the Met Office says the rest of this
week should be dry. But the longer range forecast "shows the potential for
further heavy rainfall next week".
Struggling with rising waters
of the flooding has been along the Sava and Drina rivers. These form the borders
between Serbia and Bosnia, and ultimately drain into the Danube at the Serbian
Serbia's prime minister Aleksandar Vučić warned on Sunday that the Sava remains
the biggest threat, and could bring another surge of floods by Wednesday. The
swollen waters of the Sava also threaten the TPP Nikola Tesla power station,
which supplies half of Serbia's electricity.
"Floods are not unusual, and there is a tradition and infrastructure to deal
with them, but this one was virtually unprecedented," says Vladimir Jankovic of
the University of Manchester, UK.
severe floods are expected to become more common as a result of climate change,
there is no way to know whether climate change contributed to these floods, says
Stéphane Isoard of the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark.
However, Isoard says the ever-increasing amount of concrete covering the ground
has probably contributed. "It means the water doesn't infiltrate soil and drain
away, but runs instead on the surface." Houses have also been built in at-risk
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