News 27 Feb 13

Flooding Wreaks Havoc in Parts of Macedonia

A man has died in the floods that have swept eastern and central Macedonia, cutting off villages and damaging farms and infrastructure.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The damage is yet to be assessed, authorities say

A 51-year-old man from the northeastern town of Kumanovo drowned on Tuesday, trying to cross a river that had overspilled, the authorities reported.

Torrential rain for three days has caused flooding in many parts of eastern and central Macedonia.

Overflow from several rivers destroyed at least two bridges, cut off villages, flooded farms and caused shortages of power and drinking water.

“We have been working all night, evacuating people from flooded households. Some were evacuated from their rooftops,” Marijanco Penov, commander of the fire brigade in the central town of Sveti Nikole, said.

The National Crisis Management Centre said about 20,000 people were left without electricity in Sveti Nikole.

The situation is critical in the nearby Pistica dam, which is reported to be in danger of  collapsing, threatening to flood nearby villages with some 800,000 cubic metres of water.

Waters have flooded the entire valley of Ovce Pole, media reported.

Overflowing rivers near the town of Radovish have destroyed bridges in Zletovo and Jargulica and damaged the bridge at Pokrajcevo. About 1,000 people living in Zletovo were cut off.

Some 300 homes were flooded in the village of Josifovo, 100 kilometres south of the capital, Skopje, where the fire brigade is evacuating elderly residents.

The Bregalnica river, which also overflowed, left another major town, Stip without drinking water.

The Vardar spilled over near the central town of Veles. There are reports of floods in the town of Strumica also.

Meteorologists predict better weather ahead and say the rain should halt on Thursday.

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