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Storms and floods hit the Balkans

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Sofia/Bucharest/Belgrade (dpa) - Torrential rain and floods hit eastern and central Balkans Tuesday for the second time in just over a week.

In Ruse in central Bulgaria, over 12 hours of rain had fallen by early Tuesday afternoon, raising concerns that there would be a another flood to follow the one last weekend, novinite.com said.

Flood alerts were also again raised in Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo and Svistov. The rainfall this month in the region was the heaviest in at least 50 years, the news site reported.

Across the Danube to the north, in Romania, swelling waters flooded streets and cellars in the capital Bucharest and Pitesti.

In hilly central Romania, hundreds of people had to be brought to safety for the second time in a week, the Mediafax news agency reported.

At least nine people were killed by floods or stormy weather in northern Bulgaria and southern Romania in early July. Thousands of homes and dozens of bridges were damaged.

It also rained heavily to the west, in Serbia, where torrential rain earlier this year caused heavy flood damage.

The government in Belgrade allocated 20 million dinars (290,000 dollars) in emergency aid for Kragujevac and Valjevo in central Serbia, which were hit by two storms and heavy rainfall in two days. dpa kl bb sr

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