A flooded area is seen in Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, May 19, 2014. Belgrade braced for a river surge Monday that threatened to inundate Serbia’s main power plant and cause major power cuts in the crisis-stricken country as the Balkans struggle with the consequences of the worst flooding in southeastern Europe in more than a century. (AP Photo)
An unusually strong area of low pressure sat and spun over the Balkans last Thursday and Friday, unleashing torrents of rain in Serbia and Bosnia. The resulting flooding has killed at least 35 people.
A man walks past a house tilted by floods in the village of Krupanj, west from Belgrade May 19, 2014. Communities in Serbia and Bosnia battled to protect towns and power plants on Monday from rising flood waters and landslides that have devastated swathes of both countries and killed dozens of people. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
In Bosnia, the flooding is reportedly the worst in 120 years. From the Associated Press:
[Bosnia’s] Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija called the flood damage “immense” and compared it to the carnage during the country’s 1992-95 war that killed at least 100,000 people and left millions homeless. He said the flooding had destroyed about 100,000 houses and 230 schools and hospitals and left a million people without drinking water.
Rainfall totals exceeding 4 inches (100mm) were widespread throughout the Balkans, with locally much higher amounts according to the UK Met Office.
“In three days, as much rain fell as normally falls in three months,” said Goran Mihajlovic, of Serbia’s Meteorological Institute. “Statistically, such rainfall happens once in 100 years,” he added.
A man walks through flood waters in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 19, 2014. Soldiers and energy workers stacked thousands of sandbags overnight to protect Serbia’s biggest power plant from flood waters expected to keep rising after the heaviest rains in the Balkans in more than a century killed dozens of people. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic (SERBIA – Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)
The flooding has led to a slew of related consequences, notes Weather.com, triggering over 3,000 landslides and unearthing land mines remaining from Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.
An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Today, Serbian rescue crews are feverishly working to protect a power plant threatened by the flooding, writes the Associated Press.
A pig is stranded on a roof during heavy floods in Vojskova, May 19, 2014. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic
The historic rain event originated from an unusually strong area of low pressure extending from the surface to high altitudes. The spiraling weather system drew large quantities of moisture from the Mediterranean and hit a major atmospheric roadblock that forced it to stall and dump heavy rain on the same locations for two days.
European model shows huge area of low pressure at high altitudes over the Balkans on Thursday (WeatherBell.com)
More photos of the storm’s terrible toll can be seen in the gallery below….