Thousands flee, 25 die in record Balkan floods

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Associated Press

Posted on May 17, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Updated Saturday, May 17 at 9:12 PM

MAGLAJ, Bosnia (AP) — Thousands of people have fled their homes in Bosnia and Serbia to escape the worst flooding in a century.

They packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings. Rapidly rising rivers have surged into homes, reaching up to the second floor of some homes and sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue.

Hundreds have also been evacuated in Croatia.

Authorities say 25 people have died but warn that the death toll could rise. Tens of thousands of homes are without electricity or drinking water.

Three months' worth of rain has fallen on the region in three days this week.

The rain has also triggered landslides, which have swept away warning signs marking minefields left over from Bosnia's 1992-95 war.

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APPHOTO GFX2342: Map shows extent of flooding in Bosnia and Serbia; 2c x 3 inches; 96.3 mm x 76 mm; (17 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XDMV127: People help old women out of a military truck during evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (17 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XDMV118: Evacuated people in a military truck leave Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (17 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XDMV135: Serbian police officers carry an old woman from a military helicopter during evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (17 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XDMV136: Russian rescue team members repair boats during flood evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) (17 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO XDMV136 (05/17/14)££

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