Floods Kill 11 People after Torrential Rains Flood East Bulgaria

By Elizabeth Konstantinova | June 20, 2014

Surging floodwaters following record rainfall in eastern Bulgaria left at least 11 people dead and destroyed houses, roads and railroad tracks.

Ten people died and three are missing after a sudden wave of accumulated water in a ravine swept across streets in the Black Sea city of Varna, dragging cars into a sea canal and inundating homes, Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev said in a live television broadcast from Varna today. One man was found dead in the northeastern city of Dobrich.

“Intense rainfall in the past 24 hours exceeded the monthly norm of 107 liters per square meter in the areas of Dobrich and Varna,” Anastasia Stoicheva, a weather forecaster at the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology in Sofia, said by phone today. “Rains in the east of the country will end by the end of the day today.”

Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and Defense Minister Angel Naidenov traveled to Varna to oversee emergency and recovery works and help organize fresh water supplies and medical aid. Some 150 people were evacuated from the Asparuhovo suburb in Varna, which was the worst hit by the flood, Yovchev said. Electricity has been shut off for safety reasons after the flood swept away two power substations in Asparuhovo, he said.

Water is subsiding and construction machines are clearing the streets of piled-up cars and debris, according to a live video broadcast on Bulgarian National Television.

Rescue workers in the city of Veliko Tarnovo are pumping out water from flooded houses in the area along the Yantra River, which swelled during the night. There were no casualties there, the Interior Ministry said on its website.

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