Albania under water, as floods continue

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 2, 2015 12:41

Albania under water, as floods continue

FIER – Unrelenting rain and flooding continue in southern Albania, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of people and massive damage to homes and businesses.

There have been no victims, officials said, but several people had to be evacuated by army helicopters and rescue boats after they got stuck surrounded by rising water.

Television footage from the affected areas showed massive lakes had formed where cultivated fields had once been. The economic damage to the region’s agricultural sector is enormous, local officials said.

“Thouands of hectares are under water and hundreds o family homes have been flooded,” Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri said. “More than 300 families have been evacuated. The situation is critical.”

The government says it has launched civil emergency operation to deal with the floods, with army troops deployed to aid civilian officials in the evacuation of stranded people.

Many parts of southern Albania are also in black out conditions, as power transformers have been flooded.

The counties of Gjirokaster, Fier and Vlora were worst affected, as Vjosa and Drino rivers swelled to their highest levels in recorded history, causing damages cities and towns on their shores, including Përmet, Memaliaj, Fier and the Dropull region.

Police have advised against all travel to the southern parts of the country, as the roads are either flooded on danger of being so. In areas of higher elevation, such as Korça County, a snow storm has left many roads in bad conditions, and by Tuesday, the Korça area had also flooded.

Weather forecasts show the situation could further deteriorate as rain is expected to continue all week.

This is a developing story, last update: Feb. 5, 2015

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 2, 2015 12:41