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March 5, 2021
WORLD

Wild weather kills at least 60 in Europe, floods cause havoc in Balkans

A cold snap across Europe has now claimed at least 60 lives, authorities said Friday, as snow disrupted transport in Britain and serious flooding forced thousands of people to be evacuated in the Balkans.
Seventeen people died from the cold in Central Europe, bringing the total this week to 45. A further 11 died in Russia, plus three in France and one in Germany, according to local authorities. At least 30 people, mainly homeless men, have died in Poland in the past week, and temperatures dropped to -15 C overnight.


Snow and ice caused transport disruption in the UK, with more cold weather forecast further on. The snow, which has paralysed much of the north east for the last week, hit the capital for the first time during the weekend, covering large parts of the city in a blanket of white.


FLOODS IN THE BALKANS AND IN SOUTHERN EUROPE


Flooding caused by swollen rivers after heavy rains has forced thousands of people from their homes in Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, officials have said, Al Jazeera reports. More than 7,000 people were moved to safer areas in Albania, where Sali Berisha, the prime minister, described the situation as “very serious”. Berisha said that “millions of hectares of land are flooded, over 7,000 people are already evacuated and the evacuations of other families threatened by the flood water continues”. Thousands of houses were damaged and roads linking Tirana, the capital, to the north of the country were completely blocked, according to local authorities.


In Bosnia, authorities declared a state of emergency for the eastern towns of Bijeljina, Visegrad and Zvornik along the Drina river which is the natural border between Bosnia and Serbia. Troops moved in to the villages surrounding northeastern Bijeljina after some 1,000 homes were flooded and the inhabitants were evacuated. Attributed to the fast flow in the Drina, “two-thirds of the village was flooded within several hours”, Drago Ristic, a local official, told local media. Across the border in Serbia, at least 1,400 people were evacuated from the town of Loznica. More than 3,000 more people were at risk from the flooding of the Drina in the area of Loznica, the country’s interior ministry has said.


Most Of Venice Under Water


Venice awoke to warning sirens on Sunday as tides in the famous lagoon reached their highest level this year after a period of heavy rain, leaving most of the historic city flooded, the Montreal Gazette informs. Shortly before dawn, sirens rang out across the city to warn residents and tourists that the water level had risen above 110 centimetres. Later in the morning, the level had risen to 140 centimetres above sea level. Temporary footbridges in St. Mark’s Square, typically put down for pedestrians when the area floods, were removed by local authorities as the risk rose that they would be swept away by the fast rising waters.

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