Rain-swollen rivers flood houses, roads in central Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Rain-swollen rivers have flooded hundreds of houses, farmland and roads in Serbia, prompting authorities in several municipalities to declare emergency measures on Monday.

Hundreds of people had to evacuate their homes, while hundreds of houses remained under threat, police said. In several villages and towns, entire areas have been left without electricity or water, and some schools canceled classes for the day.

In the southwestern town of Novi Pazar, surging waters destroyed small bridges over the Josanica river and about 100 people were forced to leave their homes, authorities there reported.

“We are evacuating the endangered areas so no lives are lost,” town mayor Meho Mahmutovic said.

The flooding affected dozens of acres of farmland around the central town of Cacak, local roads and the lower floors of houses.

The floods have caused power cuts in some areas, while in the nearby town of Lucani, rising waters closed down schools and inundated the municipal health center and the offices of a local factory.

Officials said the flooding has been caused by small rivers overflowing from torrential rains. The Serbian government called an emergency session for Tuesday.

several houses near the western town of Bajina Basta collapsed after the rains also triggered landslides. A number of roads have been blocked by falling rocks.

Serbia was hit by major flooding in 2014 when dozens of people died.