Romania

Romanian floods kill five, leave thousands homeless

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BUCHAREST, July 13 (Reuters) - Floods have killed five people and left thousands more homeless in Romania in recent days, bringing the total death toll since the start of the month to 11, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

Torrential rains have swollen rivers in the Balkan state, which hopes to enter the European Union in 2007. Television stations showed people being airlifted by helicopter or saved by military trucks and boats.

A 65-year-old woman died in the central county of Alba after falling from a bridge, while a 19-year-old shepherd was killed by lightning in the southeast county of Tulcea, the state news agency Rompres said. Two men were killed while trying to cross a swollen river in a vehicle in the northestern county of Bacau.

More 9,400 people had been evacuated from flooded villages.

Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said food supplies from state reserves would be sent to flooded counties and the cabinet would approve financial aid on Thursday.

Meteorologists said more rain was expected.

Western Romania was hit by floods in April and May, when 3,700 people in western counties on the border with Serbia and Montenegro had to be evacuated from crumbling houses.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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