At least 12 die in Bulgarian floods

Friday 20 June 2014 19.41
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People try to help a man during a flood that hit Varna
People try to help a man during a flood that hit Varna
A damaged car on a flooded street in the Black Sea port of Varna, Bulgaria
A damaged car on a flooded street in the Black Sea port of Varna, Bulgaria

At least 12 people have died after torrential rains and floods hit Bulgaria.

Weather forecasters said the rains that fell in the eastern regions of Varna and Burgas over 24 hours equalled the usual amount per month.

They warned that new rainfall and thunderstorms were expected in the north and east of the country today.

The floods cut off electricity, blocked roads and sparked evacuations, officials said.

Heavy rainfall in the Black Sea resort city of Varna triggered a flood wave in one of its low-laying suburbs killing at least ten people there.

Varna mayor Ivan Portnih said the tragedy was enormous.

"I am here on a street in the suburb of Aspruhovo. The street is not here, the houses are not here, there are cars on top of each other."

TV footage showed smashed cars on top of each other on the streets of the suburb, where a state of emergency was declared.

In central Bulgaria, firefighters evacuated 11 people from the top of their houses in the town of Kilifarevo.

Thunderstorms and heavy rains flooded roads and damaged houses in several villages near the capital.

Last month, at least 40 people died when neighbouring Balkan countries Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia were hit by the heaviest rainfall since records began 120 years ago.

Keywords: bulgaria