Albania battles deadly floods

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A view of a flooded area at Ferras village at Vlora district, 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the capital Tirana, after non-stop rain caused Vjosa riverbanks to burst in the south of the country, Saturday. — AP

TIRANA — Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed in Albania to rescue stranded residents after heavy rainfall triggered major flooding, and caused the death of a utility worker, officials and the power company said on Sunday.

The victim, Sabri Vlinga, died while he was working on a electricity pole at Roskovec in the flooded south of the country, the power company said in statement.

Two other people were injured in similar accidents, it added.

Some 6,400 police and soldiers have been sent to help rescue people stranded by the floods, Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Saturday, calling the situation “very critical”.

Around 1,500 people in the affected areas have been rescued, while several thousand homes were without electricity as many utility poles have been swept away by mudslides, said Shemsi Prenci, head of civil protection.

More than 7,874 hectares (19,450 acres) of farmland as well as 3,193 homes are under water and several roads in the south remained impassable.

Army forces have built a temporary bridge at Darezeze, about km from the capital Tirana, to come to the aid of 2,000 residents stranded by the floods, the defense ministry said.

In neighboring Macedonia, the heavy rains have also caused flooding as several rivers include the main Vardar river have burst their banks, the MIA news agency reported. — AFP


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