Historic flooding in the Balkans forced people from their homes on Sunday, submerging large parts of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Tens of thousands were evacuated from their homes and relocated to sports centers, schools and relatives’ homes after floodwaters consumed towns and cities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, approximately 50,000 are without safe water or electricity, according to the Red Cross, and in Serbia those numbers could be as high as 300,000.
Despite flood waters receding in some areas, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina continued to brace for more flooding on Monday as waters continued to rise from the Sava River and two other rivers, threatening the region.
In addition to flooding concerns, landslides have proven to complicate relief efforts. Reports of buried land mines shifting with the floodwaters and landslides have also been a cause for concern, potentially endangering workers and local residents, said the Red Cross.
The floodwaters have also threatened the Nikola Tesla coal power plant in Obrenovac, Serbia, which supplies half the electricity of Serbia and the capital city, Belgrade.
While Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina continue to deal with flooding throughout the region, officials expect the economic impact of the flooding to be devastating, especially to the agricultural and mining sector.
Flooding on May 16 has already caused significant damage.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić told Reuters Friday that fires and flooding of mines have caused at least 100 million euros ($137 million) in damage at the Kolubara coal power plant, southwest of Belgrade.
At least 17 have died as a result of the flooding and 17 more in Bosnia, with the death toll expected to rise as floodwaters begin to recede, according to the Associated Press.
Despite the difficulties faced by search teams and stranded residents, rescue and relief efforts continue as Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding and rainfall the Balkans have faced in over a century.
Serbian army soldiers drive through the flood waters in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 19, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Antonio BronicAn aerial view of a flooded orchard near city of Brcko, May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Dado RuvicA woman and her son move away from the downwash of an European Union Force (EUFOR) helicopter after being rescued from the flooded Serici village near Zepce, at a heliport in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, May 17, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Dado RuvicEvacuees from the Serbian town of Obrenovac are seen lying on beds in a shelter hall in Belgrade, May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Marko DjuricaAn aerial view of the flooded city of Gracanica, May 18, 2014Photo: Reuters/Dado RuvicAn evacuee from the Serbian town of Obrenovac reads a newspaper in a shelter hall in Belgrade, May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Marko DjuricaA Serbian army soldier throws candy bars to people as they are evacuated a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Marko DjuricaSerbian army soldiers evacuate people in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, Serbia May 17, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Marko DjuricaA damaged car is seen stranded in flood waters in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 19, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Antonio Bronic Local people travel on a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 19, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Antonio Bronic A man makes coffee on a balcony in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 19, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Antonio Bronic An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Dado RuvicAn aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Dado RuvicSerbian army soldiers evacuate people on a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, May 18, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Antonio BronicPeople stand on a terrace of their flooded house as the wait to be evacuated in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 16, 2014.Photo: Reuters/Marko DjuricaA woman with trolleys and others evacuate a shopping center during flooding in the central Bosnian town of Zenica.Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic