Sofia (Bulgaria): A dam in southern Bulgaria
burst on Monday after days of heavy rain, sending an 2.5-metre
torrent surging through a village along the Greek border.
The disaster brought the region's toll from flooding to
eight dead, 10 missing.
The dam on the Ivanovo Reservoir collapsed, flooding 700
houses in the village of Bisser, civil defence chief Nikolai
Four bodies were found in the raging waters, three of them
elderly men, the Bisser mayor reported.
A reporter at Bisser saw the muddy water crashing into
homes, tossing cars, drowning animals and uprooting trees.
Many homes were destroyed and some residents had to climb
onto their roofs to escape.
Many in Bisser had to be rescued from their water-logged
homes and were spending the night in emergency shelters.
Officials were still assessing the damage later today.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency in much of
southern Bulgaria due to the heavy rain. District governor
Irena Uzunova said four others were killed and 10 people are
still missing in the floods that have washed away bridges and
Bulgaria's civil defence agency warned that two bigger
dams at Ivaylovgrad and Studena were also on the brink of
overflowing and residents were urged to prepare for an
The government also warned Turkey and Greece of floods
surging down the Arda, Tundzha and Maritsa rivers.
Prime Minister Boiko Borisov and Interior Minister Tsvetan
Tsvetanov came to the flooded region later today and pledged
Train services were suspended in southern Bulgaria and
many roads remained closed, submerged under water or badly
Rain-soaked landslides also derailed the engine of an
Istanbul-bound train near the border town of Svilengrad,
causing no injuries but stranding passengers for hours.
In neighbouring Turkey, the state-run Anadolu Agency
reported that due to flood warnings some businesses and
villagers close to river banks near the Bulgarian border had
started to evacuate.
Authorities said only large trucks were being allowed to
travel between Bulgaria and Turkey due to the flooding.
First Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012, 00:30