State of emergency declared in Bosnia after heavy flooding

Heavy rain and melting snow caused rivers to burst their banks and cause flooding across Bosnia, damaging houses and blocking roads.

A bridge in the capital, Sarajevo, collapsed after the River Zeljeznica overflowed.

Milder weather has been witnessed following last month’s sub-zero conditions.

In the space of 24 hours, temperature jumped from 0C to 15C, causing snow to quickly melt and trigger floods in central parts of the country.

Zenica and Kakanj, towns in central Bosnia, declared a state of emergency as streets in some neighbourhoods were inundated by water and rescue services began evacuating people from houses on rubber boats.

Schools in the most affected areas of central Bosnia were also forced to stay shut on Monday.

In Topcic Polje, dozens of homes were evacuated as rescue services built small dams to prevent further spread of flood waters. Main roads leading in and out of Topcic Polje were heavily damaged by a heavy stream of water which descended from the surrounding mountains.

Bosnian rescue services raised security alerts for central parts of the country and evacuated hundreds of elderly residents from their houses.

Several landslides were also reported in the south of the country. There are no reports of deaths or injuries.

No further rain or snow is expected in the next few days but with temperatures up or around 9C or 10C, further snow-melt is expected. This is likely to swell the major rivers in the region close to or above normal levels.

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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