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Four dead, hundreds evacuated as torrential rains hit Romania

July 02, 2018

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BACEL (Romania): Parked cars covered in floodwater on Sunday morning.—AFP
BACEL (Romania): Parked cars covered in floodwater on Sunday morning.—AFP

DAYS of torrential rains in Romania have claimed four lives and forced more than 250 people to flee their homes, local authorities said on Sunday. The Interior Ministry said that 760 people had been rescued or evacuated from flooded areas and it had 20,000 emergency workers working on rescue efforts.

A man crossing a river on horseback in southern Romania drowned on Sunday after he was swept away. A 70-year-old woman drowned on Saturday in eastern Romania after being swept away by floodwaters, a man picking vegetables also drowned and a fourth person was crushed when flooding caused her home to collapse. An embankment gave way in the hard-hit central Covasna region, swamping several villages including Bacel and Lunca Marcusului.

“Firefighters and paramilitary police have been deployed,” said emergency situations spokesman Marius Tolvaj. “Work is ongoing to rebuild the dyke so that we can empty the water from the flooded houses.”

More than 250 area residents have fled the rising waters, he said. Authorities said five national highways were flooded and rail traffic was interrupted in central Romania. Several power outages were reported and authorities were keeping an eye on rising waters in two rivers in northern Romania.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018