SARAJEVO — Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 20 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday.
"Six bodies were found in the northern Bosnian town of Doboj after floods started to withdraw from the streets. Unfortunately, this is probably not the final toll," Milorad Dodik, president of Serb-run entity in Bosnia, told reporters.
Another victim drowned in the town of Samac having fallen from the stairs, police chief Gojko Vasic was quoted by Fena news agency as saying.
Four victims were found in Bosnia and three in Serbia on Friday.
In Serbia, "rescuers have started recovering dead bodies from flooded areas, but we will not make the number public before the complete withdrawal of the water," Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters.
More than 15,000 people have been evacuated from a number of towns throughout Serbia, hit by what Vucic called "a horrible natural catastrophe."
The most critical situation in Serbia was still in the town of Obrenovac, some 20 miles north of Belgrade, where all 20,000 residents were being evacuated amid warnings of further flooding in the afternoon, Predrag Maric of the emergency services said.
He urged citizens and companies to provide humanitarian aid, food, water and clothes.
Thousands of volunteers from Belgrade, Novi Sad and other towns went overnight to help set up flood defenses in the western town of Sabac, where the Sava river has risen well above historic levels.
"Dozens of other cities throughout Serbia were devastated by floods," Maric said.
Over the border in Bosnia, local authorities have begun evacuating five villages around the eastern town of Bjeljina, which has also lost electricity.
Downstream in neighboring Croatia, officials were on high alert amid fears that the river Sava will overflow and flood the east of the country.
Both Vucic and Dodik expressed gratitude for the rescue teams and equipment sent by Russia and several EU states.