by AMBER KELLY Photographer
Drastic rainfall has flooded parts of the Balkan Peninsula, including Serbia, Bosnia, and eastern Croatia. As of now, the death toll is said to be around 50, although conditions are still dangerous as rivers have become bloated with water.
The Balkan Peninsula is located in Southeast Europe and is inhabited by many different people, including but not limited to Serbs, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Greeks, and Montenegrins. This region has a history of discord between the various cultures that reside there; however, something has recently brought them together: major flooding after severe rainfall.
According to “Economist.com”, “in only a few days around three months’ worth of rain has fallen.”
The town of Obrenovac in Serbia was hit especially hard with flooding because of its proximity to the River Kolubara. Approximately 13 people died there, and due to the fear of the River Sava similarly adding to the flooding, the area has been evacuated.
Despite military aid on the part of Serbia and other Balkan countries, their lack of resources is a hindrance. That is why it has been vital to the recovery of the region for the different countries to come together and help with the flooding.
Kosovo has offered assistance to the area, with the Association of the Atlantic Pact of the Youth of Kosovo (AAPYK) demanding that the Ministry of the Security Force of Kosovo provide help with the flooding.
The Kosovo government has said that they are waiting for the green light from Serbia and Bosnia to send in search-and-rescue teams.
“It’s good that the different countries are coming together. Kosovo and others like it could have turned their backs on Serbia and the other flooded countries, but they haven’t. I don’t know if this unity will last, it probably won’t, but it is nice to see that in a time of distress countries can support each other despite their differences,” says senior Lucia Fernandez.
The death toll is projected to increase in the coming days as flooding is still severe. Although support is coming in for the flooded countries, the process is slow and difficult. Many homes have been lost and buildings destroyed. People have no electricity, and Serbian officials are worried about the threat the flooding poses for the power plant in Obrenovac, which supplies electricity for a majority of the country.
Officials also worry about the mines left over from past wars, fearing that the flooding will cause the land to shift. Landslides are also making rescue missions difficult for the Serbs.
Many people do not have access to clean water, either. If clean water is not provided to these people, they will either become dehydrated or be forced to drink the contaminated water. This poses many health risks for the Balkan people and even after flooding has subsided, medical attention will be necessary.
“Hopefully all the help these people need will be provided. It’s horrible that so many of them have lost their homes and belongings,” says senior Kendall Marini.
Due to this destructive flooding, the Balkan region is determined to overcome such a natural disaster together.
Do you think this unity will last?