Man dies in landslide in Bosnia as bad weather hits Balkans closing roads, flooding villages



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BELGRADE, Serbia — A man died Friday in a landslide in Bosnia as a wave of storms also closed down roads, flooded villages and disrupted power supplies throughout the Balkan region still recovering from record flooding last year.

Bosnian authorities said the man was killed by a pile of mud, rocks and trees that smashed into his car while he was driving in central Bosnia early on Friday.

More than two dozen people were forced to leave their flooded homes in western Serbia, as rain-swollen rivers spread over the farmland and several villages. Heavy, wet snow burdened power distribution lines in many areas, leaving thousands without electricity.

Emergency officials sought to dispel fears that the rain and snow could lead to massive flooding similar to that of last May, when nearly 80 people died in the Balkans and about 140,000 had to leave their homes.

"There is no reason to panic," said Serbian police official Predrag Maric. "We are on alert."

In Croatia, most roads connecting the Adriatic coast with the central parts of the country have been closed due to strong winds and snow. Bad weather on Friday halted air traffic to and from the tourist city of Dubrovnik, while strong winds damaged a hall and stranded two cargo boats in Split.

Croatian authorities said winds in some areas along the coast were the strongest ever recorded, overturning trucks, sending garbage containers into the sea and stopping ferry lines. Several people suffered minor injuries, they said.

In Montenegro, blizzards blocked roads toward the north of the country. A landslide near the border with Bosnia late on Thursday kept a bus and two cars stranded for hours. Also late on Thursday, emergency crews unblocked a snow-covered tunnel in the north, reaching more than two dozen people trapped inside.


Aida Cerkez in Bosnia; Darko Bandic in Croatia and Predrag Milic in Montenegro contributed to this report.

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