Serbia – Heavy Rains Causes Floods, Dozens Evacuated
In southwestern Serbia, rivers overflowed after days of heavy rain, leaving two people missing and dozens displaced. Other countries in the region, including Kosovo and Albania, have also reported flooding.
After flooding began on January 18, 2023, a state of emergency was declared in the Serbian municipalities of Prijepolje, Sjenica, Novi Pazar, Brus, Tutin, Kurumlija, and Prokuplje.
On January 19, Minister of Defense Milos Vucevic stated that members of the Serbian Army were present on the ground and that all of the Army’s capabilities had been made available to the affected communities. Bratislav Gasic, the minister of the interior, went to some of the flooded areas.
At least 84 people, including 5 in Novi Pazar, 9 in Sjenica, 30 in Prijepolje, 24 in Priboj, and 16 in Brus, had to leave their homes due to the flooding, according to Serbian police. According to the Ministry of Interior, water pumps and temporary flood defenses were set up in the affected areas.
On January 18, 2023, some Sjenica residents were evacuated as a result of the Grabovica River breaking its banks as a result of heavy rain. In Brodarevo, flooding caused by the Lim river caused damage to buildings. After the Toplica river flooded, a state of emergency was declared in Kurumlija and Prokuplje.
In the municipality of Brus, the rivers Graevaka and Rasina overflowed, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency.
The banks of the Trnavica and Raska rivers both broke in Novi Pazar. After two people were swept away by floods while trying to protect their homes, emergency personnel were looking for them. According to Bratislav Gasic, minister of the interior, six specialized rescue teams are currently looking for the two people who are missing.
On January 15, the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMZ) issued warnings about heavy rain in the area. Between January 17 and 18, as much as 150 millimeters of rain could fall in some parts of southern Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. RHMZ issued a warning that flooding is likely to continue until January 21 on the Sava river near abac and the Nera river near Kusic.