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Serbia will need up to 5 years to restore flood-stricken agriculture — Serbian official

May 16, 2014, 20:49 UTC+3 BELGRADE
The Serbian authorities have focused their efforts on evacuating people from the flood-stricken areas
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A general view of a flooded road near Uzice, 300km south-west of Belgrade, Serbia, 15 May 2014

A general view of a flooded road near Uzice, 300km south-west of Belgrade, Serbia, 15 May 2014

© EPA/DRAGAN KARADAREVIC

BELGRADE, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Serbia’s Emergencies Minister without portfolio Velimir Ilic said on Friday that Serbia would need up to 5 years to restore its flood-stricken agriculture.

Though the damage is yet to be estimated, it is already clear that a huge number of sown fields and fruit gardens have been inundated.

Ilic said the floods were a terrible blow to Serbia’s agriculture and state budget.

The floods have damaged houses, enterprises, cultural facilities and roads. The Serbian authorities have focused their efforts on evacuating people from the flood-stricken areas. Many evacuees have temporarily been quartered in army barracks.

Troops are helping firefighters to suppress the fire. A Russian Emergencies Ministry plane brought Russian rescuers to Serbia earlier on Friday.

The Serbian government on Friday asked Serbians who own motor boats to grant them to evacuate flood-stranded people.

The situation remains bad in the neighboring Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that are also suffering from torrential rain, strong wind and floods. One person has died in floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina which has declared a state of emergency in some of its regions. Swollen rivers have swept away several bridges. Some populated localities have been left without electricity as new reports of washed out roads and bridges collapsed under mudslides keep coming.

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