Bosnia Deploys Army to Rescue Flood Victims

After several towns were almost completely flooded on Thursday, the country’s presidency tasked the armed forces with helping to rescue people trapped in their homes.

Bosnia’s state presidency has deployed the armed forces to help people in Maglaj, central Bosnia, many of whom have no power or drinking water and are trapped in their homes by flooding.

Reports from Maglaj said many families were desperate for help and wanted to be rescued after rising floodwater left them trapped on roofs and in the attics of their homes.

Many facilities in the town were under water.

The government of Bosnia’s Federation entity proclaimed a state of natural disaster and formed an emergency headquarters to organize rescues and help the worst affected areas.

Elektroprivreda BiH, the power company, said that almost 40,000 users were cut off in Zenica-Doboj, Tuzla and Sarajevo cantons.

Dramatic images from the towns of Zavidovici and Olovo showed bridges destroyed by the overflowing water and carried away by force. Most of Olovo was under water as were many other towns.

Town centres in Lukavac, Zivinice, Zepce and Doboj were all flooded as was much of the lands near the rivers around Bijeljina, Sarajevo, Zenica, Kakanj, Visoko, Bratunac, Zvornik and Brcko.

In Bosnia’s other entity, Republika Srpska, the Interior Ministry ordered the civil protection services and the police to help the people in the field.

The level of the River Bosna rose by over six meters in Doboj, reports said, and roads to this town were impassable.

Reports from many towns said that people feared what Thursday night would bring as the rain did not stop falling throughout the day.