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Widespread damage, 3 dead and several missing after floods hit eastern Bulgaria

widespread-damage-3-dead-and-several-missing-after-floods-hit-eastern-bulgaria

At least three people have died and several are still missing after an intense storm swept through several parts of eastern Bulgaria late Tuesday into Wednesday, October 25, causing floods, mudslides and widespread damage. More heavy rain is expected in the affected area over the next 24 hours.

Houses, streets, and intersections were flooded after torrential rainfall hit the Bourgas district on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. According to media reports, more than 60 mm (2.36 inches) of rain fell in less than an hour Wednesday. Some unofficial reports mention 200 mm (7.9 inches) within 24 hours. The worst hit were Ravnets, Livada, Zhelyazkovo, and Polski Izor.

A state of emergency was immediately declared in Kameno municipality, while an emergency was declared in part of Bourgas municipality, Sofia Globe reported. The situation was also difficult in the municipalities of Karnobat and Sozopol, Bulgarian National Television said.

Three of the dead drowned when their houses were suddenly inundated by floodwater. An elderly man in the village of Polski Izvor was on the ground floor of his house when a 1.5 m (5 feet) wave of water hit it. The wave of water was part of a heavy torrent that began at about 04:00 local time. Other deaths occurred in Livada village and Ravnets.

A mudslide hit Trakiya Motorway and temporarily blocked a stretch of it, about 260 km (161 miles) from Sofia. There were also reports that the wall of Troyanovo dam had been breached, but the management of the dam said it was not true.

Weather authorities issued a Code Red dangerous weather warning for Bourgas district before the storm hit, urging residents in the affected areas to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid driving. Winds up to 86 km/h (54 mph) were expected.

More heavy rain is expected over the next 24 hours in areas already affected by heavy rain.

Featured image credit: Bulgaria News Front

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