Rain and quick thaw brings flooding to the Balkans

Early spring after a harsh winter brings the inevitable spring flood to Serbia and Albania.

    Albania's army has been deployed in the country's northern region to help hundreds of people trapped by floods following heavy rainfall.

    Thousands of hectares of agricultural land is underwater and soldiers are either evacuating residents or bringing in food.

    The torrential rain in recent days has caused landslides, damaging dozens of homes and flooding roads.

    The transport ministry has reported that the situation has been made worse by excess water being released through hydroelectric dams along the Drin River, a precaution taken to prevent the dams from failing and causing potentially catastrophic flooding.

    At the start of the month, Belgrade, Serbia, reported 17cm of snow on the ground and a temperature of -2 Celsius by day after a night at -14C.

    A week later, after a day of rain, it was +14C and there was no snow. Tirana, the capital of Albania experienced something similar: a day of snow to start the month and a week later, the afternoon high temperature was 23C.

    This story has been repeated throughout much of Europe and such an obvious and rapid thaw has brought consequent flooding. The Balkan states were hit particularly badly by snow only a week before the thaw.

    In fact, throughout the last month, it has either snowed - or more recently, rained - virtually every day in Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria and neighbouring countries.

    Now the sun has returned, with early spring warmth, and no more significant rain is forecast for the next few days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.