A Reuters photographer in the town of Obrenovac, 30 km (18 miles)
southwest of the Serbian capital Belgrade and the worst hit by days
of heavy rainfall, estimated the water level at 2-3 meters.
"The whole town is under water," he said.
Residents stood on roofs and terraces waiting to be rescued, while
soldiers in amphibious military vehicles tried to evacuate an
estimated 700 people, mainly women and children, from a primary
school located on higher ground.
Further to the west, thousands of volunteers joined soldiers, police
and firefighters overnight in building sandbag flood defenses around
the town of Sabac, threatened by the rising waters of the River
"Now we have to sit and wait, to wait for that next wave and to
hope," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a news
Vucic said the first bodies had been found in Obrenovac, worst hit
by the heaviest rainfall in the region since records began almost
120 years ago. He did not specify how many people had died.
In Serbia, some 95,000 homes were without electricity on Saturday,
with the country's energy system near breaking point. The country
hiked imports to make up for a cut of 40 percent in capacity.
By Friday in Serbia, three people had drowned, including a rescue
worker. In Bosnia, the death toll reached 11, with the discovery of
six bodies in the eastern town of Doboj on Saturday and another in
Samac in the north.
"I'm afraid that won't be the end," Bosnian Serb leader Milorad
Dodik told a news conference with Vucic in Belgrade.
Authorities in Bosnia said they would evacuate about 10,000 people
from the eastern region of Bijeljina, accommodating them in schools.
Mayor Mico Micic appealed for blankets and food.
Helicopters evacuated people from the northern Bosnian towns of
Samac and Modrica and trucks and bulldozers carried food to the
hardest hit areas.
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About 1,000 people, including babies, pregnant women, invalids and
elderly were evacuated from the region of Zeljezno Polje in central
Bosnia, where hundreds of homes were destroyed in landslides.
"I think we'll never be able to return to our village," local Muslim
imam Zuhdija Ridzal told Reuters by telephone from Zeljezno Polje.
"It has disappeared in landslides."
Serbia's state-run power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS)
trimmed output at its largest hydro power plant, Djerdap 1, on the
Danube river by a quarter and closed down 1,650 MW in capacity of
its largest coal-fired power plant Nikola Tesla (TENT) late on
Friday, on top of a 10 percent cut in total output a day before.
Flooding of the Kolubara, the Danube and the Sava rivers brought
down cables and transformer stations, soaked coal depots that feed
power plant and caused a fire inside the Kolubara power plant
complex which had been shuttered since Thursday.
(Additional reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic and Maja Zuvela in
Sarajevo, Fedja Grulovic in Belgrade; Writing by Matt Robinson;
Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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