Romania and Ukraine hurt by deadly flooding

At least 16 people, including five children, were killed in severe flooding in Romania and Ukraine. Around 20,000 people had to be evacuated, according to both governments.


At least 16 people have died in severe storms and flooding in western Ukraine and northern Romania that forced almost 20,000 people to abandon their homes, authorities said Sunday.

The government in Kiev said 13 people, including five children, had been killed and two were missing, while authorities in Bucharest issued a toll of three dead and two missing.

In Ukraine around 6,700 people were evacuated after 21,000 homes were flooded in regions close to the border with Romania, the emergency situations ministry said.

Three hundred towns and villages have lost electricity and about 400 bridges have been damaged, it said.

President Viktor Yushchenko arrived in the region on Sunday to assess the damage, his press service said. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was also expected to travel there, Interfax news agency reported.

Seven of the dead were in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, and the other six in the Chernivtsy region, the ministry said.

Earlier it said two victims died when they were struck by lightning and a third in a landslide.

Authorities in Romania said a 30-year-old mother, her son and another youngster, who had taken refuge from the swollen waters in a house built on a hill, died when a landslip swept the building away in the northern district of Maramures.

Two other people had also been carried off by the floodwaters, the secretary of state at the interior ministry, Victor Paul Dobre, said.

One of those was a 14-year-old boy, separated from his father's hand by the rising waters.

Almost 12,900 people had been evacuated and more than 9,200 homes flooded, according to government figures.

Almost 19,000 hectares (almost 50,000 acres) have been affected, including 6,200 wells, 500 kilometres (310 miles) of roads and 1,000 bridges.

Some 3,650 security forces and volunteers had been mobilised Sunday to build dykes, help evacuate people and animals in danger and to distribute aid.

Authorities expected the torrential rains to ease off later in the day, although a red alert was to remain in force through until Monday afternoon for six north-eastern districts.

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