Thousands flee, 20 die in record Balkan floods

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Thousands flee, 20 die in record Balkan floods
A Serbian rescuer carries a dog through flooded street in the village of Obrez, near the central Serbian town of Varvarin, south of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / SASA DJORDJEVIC (Photo credit should read SASA DJORDJEVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Serbian rescuer carries an elderly woman out of her flooded house in the village of Obrez, near the central Serbian town of Varvarin, south of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / SASA DJORDJEVIC (Photo credit should read SASA DJORDJEVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People ride a tractor trough flooded streets in the village of Obrez, near the central Serbian town of Varvarin, south of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / SASA DJORDJEVIC (Photo credit should read SASA DJORDJEVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group get off an helicopter following its evacuation from the flooded town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group of people wait for their evacuation from their flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group is evacuated by boat over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group is evacuated by an amphibious vehicle over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People wait for evacuation in front of their flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman is helped by rescuers after being evacuated from her flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group is evacuated on a boat over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A group is evacuated on an amphibious vehicle over flooded streets in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks trough a flooded street in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said on Saturday. AFP PHOTO / ALEXA STANKOVIC (Photo credit should read ALEXA STANKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carrying his child on his shoulders crosses a bridge in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014, after being evacuated from his flooded house. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said today. 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.' AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carries a dog after after they have been evacuated from their flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said today. 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.' AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People evacuated from their flooded houses cross a bridge in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said today. 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.' AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People evacuated from their flooded houses cross a bridge in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said today. 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.' AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People evacuated from their flooded houses wait in a bus in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 17, 2014. Deadly floods across Bosnia and Serbia have claimed at least 14 lives and led to the evacuation of 15,000 people after the Balkans suffered its heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said today. 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.' AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Serbian emergency response worker carries a child as he and others evacuate people from their flooded homes in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said today. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 16: 3 people died, 6 thousands people evacuated and 1 person lost in floodwaters, on floods in Belgrade, Serbia on 16 May, 2014. (Photo by Kristina Maslarevic/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Serbian emergency services workers evacuate people from floodwaters in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said today. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Serbian emergency services workers evacuates a woman from floodwaters in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said today. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Serbian emergency services worker evacuates a dog from floodwaters in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said today. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man carries a child during the evacuation of a family by boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said on Friday. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Group of volunteers ride a vehicle trough a flooded street in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said on Friday. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A family is evacuated by boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said on Friday. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at a flooded street in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. Three people have drowned in Serbia and over 6000 have been evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain that prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, officials said. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Serbian police officers carry an old woman out of military helicopter during flood evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Residents lay sand bags along a flooded road in the village of Hrtkovci, 60 kilometers west of Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, May 18, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Serbian police officers carry an old woman from a military helicopter during evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Serbian police officers carry a man from a military helicopter during flood evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
People look out of the police truck during their flood evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A Bosnian man drives his bicycle away from a flooded area in the village of Dvorovi, near Bijeljina 200 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, Saturday May 17, 2014. Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia, seeking to escape the worst flooding in a century. Authorities said 20 people have died but warned the death toll could rise further. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
Evacuated people look out of a police truck used for evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
People wait for transport during evacuation from Obrenovac, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Belgrade Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Bosnian people hang from the back of a car during evacuation from their flooded homes in the village of Dvorovi, near Bijeljina 200 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, Saturday May 17, 2014. Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia, seeking to escape the worst flooding in a century. Authorities said 20 people have died but warned the death toll could rise further. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A Bosnian man waves as he delivers food to people in the village of Dvorovi, near Bijeljina 200 kms north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, Saturday May 17, 2014. Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia, seeking to escape the worst flooding in a century. Authorities said 20 people have died but warned the death toll could rise further. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A man navigates his boat by the bank of the Sava river in Sremska Mitrovica, 90 kilometers west of Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
People build a sandbag dam by the banks of Sava river in Sremska Mitrovica, 90 kilometers west of Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, May 17, 2014. Record flooding in the Balkans leaves at least 20 people dead in Serbia and Bosnia and is forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Meteorologists say the flooding is the worst since records began 120 years ago. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A member of the Bosnian army carries a boy rescued from his home, during floods, in the Bosnian town of Maglaj, 150 kms north of Sarajevo, Friday May 16, 2014. Two people drowned in Serbia and the country declared a national emergency Thursday as rain-swollen rivers across the Balkans flooded roads and bridges, shut down schools and cut off power. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated. In Serbia and neighboring Bosnia, meteorologists said the rainfall was the most since measuring started 120 years ago. Belgrade authorities say the average rainfall of a two-month period hit the city in just 40 hours. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
A woman is assisted by volunteers, during floods, in the Bosnian town of Maglaj, 150 kms north of Sarajevo, Friday May 16, 2014. Two people drowned in Serbia and the country declared a national emergency Thursday as rain-swollen rivers across the Balkans flooded roads and bridges, shut down schools and cut off power. Hundreds of people had to be evacuated. In Serbia and neighboring Bosnia, meteorologists said the rainfall was the most since measuring started 120 years ago. Belgrade authorities say the average rainfall of a two-month period hit the city in just 40 hours. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)
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By JOVANA GEC and ALMIR ALIC
Associated Press

MAGLAJ, Bosnia (AP) -- Packed into buses, boats and helicopters, carrying nothing but a handful of belongings, tens of thousands fled their homes Saturday in Bosnia and Serbia to escape the worst flooding in a century.

Rapidly rising rivers surged into homes, sometimes reaching up to the second floors, sending people climbing to rooftops for rescue.

Hundreds were also evacuated in Croatia.

Authorities said 20 people have died but warned the death toll could rise. Tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity or drinking water.

Landslides triggered by the floods also raised the risk of injury or death from land mines left over from Bosnia's 1992-95 war. The landslides swept away many of the carefully placed warning signs around the minefields.

Three months' worth of rain has fallen on the region in three days this week, creating the worst floods since records began 120 years ago.

Observed from the air, almost a third of Bosnia, mostly its northeast corner, resembled a huge muddy lake, with houses, roads and rail lines submerged. Admir Malagic, a spokesman for Bosnia's Security Ministry, said about a million people - over a quarter of the country's population - live in the affected area.

"Bosnia is facing a horrible catastrophe," said Bakir Izetbegovic, the chairman of the Bosnian three-man presidency. "We are still not fully aware of actual dimensions of the catastrophe ... we will have to take care of hundreds, thousands of people ..."

Izetbegovic was touring Maglaj, hard hit by floods. As the waters mostly withdrew on Saturday, Maglaj was covered in mud and debris, with residents checking damage and bringing furniture out in the streets to dry.

"Everything is destroyed, but we are happy to be alive," said Maglaj resident Zijad Omerovic.

In the eastern Bosnian town of Bijeljina, some 10,000 people were being evacuated Saturday after the rain-swollen Sava River pushed through flood defenses, endangering four villages outside the town. The peak of the Sava flood wave was expected in Bijeljina later Saturday, before advancing to Serbia.

"We need everything, we are underwater," mayor Mico Micic exclaimed.

In eastern Croatia, the overflowing Sava spread over villages and farm land, sending hundreds fleeing.

The rain caused nearly 300 landslides in Bosnia, burying dozens of houses and cars and further complicating relief efforts.

"They come unannounced in just a few seconds," said Fahrudin Solak, a Civil Protection official.

Officials in Bosnia say 12 people died and more bodies could be found as water recedes from dozens of cities. In some places, people had to be rescued by helicopter from their roofs.

Many in Bosnia lost homes they had only just rebuilt after the war, which claimed 100,000 lives and devastated the impoverished country.

In Serbia, eight deaths were reported and emergency crews and soldiers were using boats and helicopters to rescue thousands trapped in the town of Obrenovac, near Belgrade. Authorities also ordered residents of another nearby small town, Baric, to leave immediately Saturday afternoon. Many hurriedly climbed into buses and military trucks to get away.

Officials said more than 15,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit regions in Serbia, many finding shelter in schools and sports halls. Lines of mattresses covered the floors of Belgrade schools, with frightened survivors describing unstoppable torrents that surged in a matter of minutes.

"It's all gone, all that we worked for, our animals, everything," one sobbing woman told Studio B television.

The flooding in Obrenovac is threatening the Nikola Tesla power plant, Serbia's biggest. Plant capacity had already been cut after a nearby coal mine was flooded and authorities urged residents to save energy to avoid brown-outs.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told a press conference that new wave of flooding on the Sava River will hit Sunday evening.

"Our primary concern is to protect the power plant," said Vucic. "We are doing all we can."

Thousands of volunteers responded to government's appeal to build up flood defenses along the Sava. Bused in from all over the country, the volunteers worked around the clock, stacking up sandbag barricades with soldiers and emergency crews. The town of Sremska Mitrovica was a particular concern.

"You can feel the solidarity everywhere. People are doing everything they can. I am seeing children and older people shoveling sand and carrying sandbags and no one finds this labor hard," said volunteer Marinko Trivunovic.

"I'm proud of the fact that I'm from Belgrade and I've come here to help these people to save their homes. By saving this city, we're saving the whole country," said volunteer Nemanja Radovic.

International help poured into the two nations. A Russian team joined the rescue efforts in Serbia. Rescue teams from Luxembourg, Slovenia and Croatia were already in Bosnia, and others from the U.K., Austria and Macedonia were expected.

Residents in both countries mobilized through Facebook or other social media, collecting tons of food, blankets and clothing for the crisis-hit areas.

From the Italian Open in Rome, Serbia's best tennis player, Novak Djokovic, appealed for flood volunteers on his Twitter account.

"Support for everyone! Let's help the endangered! Join the aid action!" he tweeted.

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