Floods in the Balkans

I will keep this post short. Last week an extraordinary floods hit the western Balkans, especially Bosnia and Serbia.

In just three days three months’ worth of rain has fallen on Bosnia, which is the worst floods since rainfall measurements began 120 years ago. The chaotic situation affected more than a quarter of Bosnia’s 4 million people. The destruction of cities, towns and villages is easily comparable to the country’s 1992-95 war.

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Topcic polje near Zenica, 120 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, on May 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

At least 40 people have died in western Balkans and tens of thousands of others have fled their homes. Tens of thousands of dead livestock pose serious health risk to the people in the region.

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Bosnian worker prepares to take away dead cows from a farm near the Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac along river Sava, 200 kms north of Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on May 20. A new calamity emerged Tuesday in the flood-hit Balkans even as emergency workers battled overflowing rivers and evacuated thousands tons of drowned livestock were posing a health hazard. With the rainfall stopping and temperatures rising, the withdrawing floodwaters revealed a harrowing sight: thousands of dead cows, pigs, sheep, dogs and other animals that were left behind after their panicked owners fled rapidly advancing torrents.(Amel Emric/Associated Press)

On top of everything, there is an additional hazard: leftover land mines. Floods have disturbed known mine fields and erased many of markers that had been placed to warn people away.

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Bosnian soldiers repair mine warning signs in fields near the banks of a river that flooded near the town of Visoko, 30 km north of Sarajevo, on Tuesday May 20, 2014. The flooding has unearthed landmines left over from Bosnia's 1992-95 war and washed away the signs that marked them. (AP Photo/Sulejman Omerbasic)

My hometown Bosanski Šamac is in the middle of the flooding catastrophe. It is placed at the shores of the largest rivers in Bosnia: Sava and Bosna. The town’s streets look more like Venice, and water has reached roofs of many houses.

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Town of Bosanski Samac, the northern Bosnia.

Thousands of people were hastily evacuated to neighboring towns, including members of my family.

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A Slovenian army helicopter team rescues a small baby on May 17 in the village of Tisina, near Bosanski Samac, northern Bosnia-Herzegovina. The rest of the baby’s family was evacuated later on, the rescue team said. (Rok Einhauer/Slovenian Army via Associated Press)

People in the region need especially water, hygienic articles, food, cleaning equipment and everything else needed to ease the suffering of people in the region.

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Bosnian people evacuated from their flooded homes take shelter at a sports center in the northern Bosnian town of Odzak on May 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)

Just to put into perspective the range of the flooding in the Balkans, take a look at this map.

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The flooding in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia.

If you will you can help Bosnia’s population by donating this project (click on the banner bellow or go to the website: Help Bosnia and Herzegovina). I know people behind it, I vouch for their credibility and I know that every cent donated will get into right hands. Thank you.

See more pictures from the Balkans: The Atlantic, Boston.com.

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