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Flooding in Balkans triggers 3,000 landslides, unearths mines


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"I am homeless. I have nothing left, not even a toothpick," Mesan Ikanovic said. "I ran out of the house barefoot, carrying children in my arms."

Ikanovic said 10 minutes separated him and his family from likely death. He carried his 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son to safety.

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He said he had secured a mortgage and moved in just last year. "Now I have nothing," he said. "Where will I go now? Where will we live?"

Semid Ivilic’s house in the lower part of the village was still standing. But looking up at the mass of earth and rubble that engulfed his neighbors’ homes, he said he was worried.

"Nobody is coming to help us," he said.

The final person to evacuate a village near Brcko said he had lost everything he valued.

"I was the last one to leave," said 72-year-old Anto Zuparic. "I left everything behind, my cattle and everything else. I do not know what to do. I am glad I won’t live much longer anyway."

More than 10,000 people have already been rescued from the town of Bijeljina in northeast Bosnia. Trucks, buses and private cars were heading north with volunteers and tons of aid collected by people in cities outside the disaster zone.

The Bosnian Army said it had 1,500 troops helping on the ground. But many bridges have been washed away, leaving communities dependent on airlifts.

Helicopters from the European Union, Slovenia and Croatia were also aiding rescue efforts.


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Large parts of eastern Croatia were underwater too, with several villages cut off and hundreds still fleeing the flooded zone in boats and trucks. Refugees were being housed in sports halls and schools, and aid centers were set up to distribute medicine, food, blankets and clothing.

In Serbia, more than 20,000 people have been forced from their homes.

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Associated Press writers Aida Cerkez in Sarajevo, Marko Drobnjakovic in Veliki Crljeni, Serbia; Almir Alic in Doboj, Bosnia; Amel Emric in Brcko, Bosnia; and Sulejman Klokoqi in Horozovine, Bosnia contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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