19 May 2014

Balkans flood: All children and SOS Children's Villages staff safe, properties undamaged


(Photo: Tanjug)

(5/19/2014): Torrential rains in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have claimed the lives of at least 20, caused more than 200 landslides and forced thousands to evacuate.

Both countries have issued a state of emergency. Currently, all children, SOS Mothers, and staff are safe, though the rain continues.

Media outlets are reporting that the worst is yet to come. The biggest rise is expected on Tuesday (May 20).

Serbia

Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and it’s in grave danger as flooding continues over the banks of the Sava and Danube rivers.

Many of those affected in Belgrade have an urgent need for basic supplies (bottled water, sanitary products, baby food, clothes, canned food).

There is one SOS Village in Serbia, in the town of Kraljevo. Currently, most flooding is occurring in the eastern part of Kraljevo; more than 1,000 homes have been flooded and over 150 people evacuated. It recently snowed on a nearby mountain, and flooding is expected to worsen and spread as the snow melts.

The SOS Village is on high ground. Again, all children, Mothers and staff are safe and no property has been damaged.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

There are two SOS Villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one in Gracanica and another in Sarajevo. Many areas of the country are flooded and a number of landslides were activated during the downpour. As a preventative measure, the supply of electricity to the Gracanica Village has been stopped; children and families there are, though, prepared and not severely affected by the outage.

Amir Omanovic, national director of SOS Children’s Villages Bosnia & Herzegovina, said the situation is alarming.

“A worsening of the situation is forecasted because the rains are continuing. However, I would like to stress that our children and programs are safe,” Omanovic said.

Additionally, all children, Mothers and SOS staff in Croatia are safe. There has been no flood-related damage to any SOS properties in the country.

>> You can make a donation to SOS Children’s Villages – USA today to support relief efforts around the world.


This is an on-going situation that we will continue to monitor and provide updates on when available.