Hundreds of families in several Bosnian towns and surrounding settlements spent a sleepless night, fearing that the 2014 scenario when floods and landslides ravaged parts of the country, forcing many to leave their homes, might happen again.
Heavy rainfalls caused first problems on Sunday already in the northwest of Bosnia, continuing throughout Monday and the following night, when the rain spread to the north and the northeast as well as the central parts of the country.
Swollen rivers caused the collapse of bridges and cut the road connection, blocking access to remote villages.
The most severe cases were recorded in the area surrounding the northern cities and towns of Banja Luka, Sanski Most, Celinac, Teslic, Doboj, Maglaj..., where authorities declared the state of emergency.
Dozens of households in Maglaj, northern Bosnia, are already sinking under water. The water level of the Bosna river has been dramatically increasing in that area during Monday, reaching 510 centimetres at 7 pm.
Doboj Jug police ordered the evacuation of residents in Matuzici settlement, whose homes were directly endangered by the rising water level of the Usora river.
They were provided alternative accommodation in the local school.
Schools were closed in Teslic, after the Municipality Head decided the situation caused by floods might jeopardise lives and property, and declared the state of emergency.
Teslic residents could also experience the electricity cuts.
Igor Radojicic, Banja Luka Mayor, also decided that schools and kindergartens will be closed until further notice, to prevent undesired situations.
“At this moment the banks of the Vrbas and Vrbanja rivers are protested but, God forbid, we should be prepared for evacuation,” he said Monday afternoon.
Emergency sirens put on alert the residents of Sanski Most, a northwestern town lying on nine rivers, whose residents fear the floods similar to those in 2014 might repeat again. The situation is similar in the northern town of Bosanska Krupa, lying on the Una river.
Authorities in the central municipality of Kakanj said they are prepared for interventions, as the Bosna river has been coming close to the level of 370 centimetres when it might start causing problems.
“We called on residents inhabiting the area near the riverbed to be cautious and in case of jeopardy call the Professional Firefighters Kakanj, dialling 123,” the municipal authorities said, also warning of possible landslides.
Bosnian motor club BIHAMK said Tuesday morning that the flow of traffic was difficult on Jajce-Mrkonjic Grad, Prijedor-Sanski Most regional roads and many local roads in the northwestern and the northern Bosnia, calling the drivers for caution.