The Heat Is Online

Flood drownings in Sofia -- 1996

"Floods Kill Two in Bulgaria, More Rain Coming"

SOFIA, Bulgaria, Dec. 2, 1996 -- (Reuter) - Two women drowned over the weekend as the worst floods in decades hit Bulgaria's Rodopi mountain region, cutting off roads, rail links and power, civil defense officials said Monday.

Civil defense official Lili Kostodinova said many roads in the region were blocked by mud and rocks, including the main road from the city of Plovdiv to Smolian.

She said more rain was forecast but the civil defense service was hoping colder weather would solidify the mud. ``We're hoping the weather will turn colder because this will help us,'' she told Reuters.

The civil defense service has declared a state of emergency in the southern towns of Zlatograd, 160 miles south of Sofia, and Nedlino, where dozens of houses are under water.

Two women trying to clear flood water from outside their houses drowned in Zlatograd when the river Nedelinska burst its banks. The body of a man was also found in the town but the cause of his death was not immediately clear.

Civil defence staff are working with troops and local volunteers to evacuate affected areas and rescue people stranded by floods.

Four reservoirs in the region are being closely monitored as some are nearing critical levels and could overflow.