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MOSCOW, May 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian railway experts are helping Serbia to restore transport facilities hit by the powerful floods.
“At the moment, 700 active avalanches have been revealed. The rainfall has damaged more than 20 republican and hundreds of municipal railroads. The Belgrade-Bar railroad and Corridor X are facing the greatest hazard. According to preliminary estimates, 52 sections on those roads, including bridges, have been damaged,” a source at the Russian Railways Company told Itar-Tass.
The restoration is expected to start after a commission of Serbian railways approves a draft of restoration works. Sixty Russian and Serbian experts as well as 50 vehicles will be mobilized for the restoration works which were supposed to start last December. The railways were expected to begin operation next year. However, the natural disaster has upset the initial plans. The work schedule will now have to be adjusted, the company source said.
Meanwhile, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic last Friday thanked Russia and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for helping Serbia cope with the powerful floods that are hitting its central and western regions.
“Serbia and the Serbian people will always remember Russia’s self-sacrificing and timely aid. They highly appreciate this gesture as a proof of genuine friendship between the two peoples,” Vucic wrote in his letter quoted by his press service.
Vucic extended his personal gratitude to Medvedev for timely aid.
“I would like to extend my cordial gratitude for the help which the Russian government had given to Serbia in time of need,” the Serbian prime minister went on to say.
“The rains that fell out in just a few days last week caused catastrophic floods. Most regions in Central and Western Serbia are under water. We have lost many human lives and suffered great material damage. Many homes, automobile roads, railways and agricultural crops were either been damaged or destroyed. Cattle also died,” Vucic stressed in his letter to Medvedev.
“I am sure that the death toll and material damage could have been much higher if it had not been for the brave members of Russian special units who did not spare their lives to save people and their property and protect them from floods. They made an invaluable contribution to our efforts to protect ourselves from the unprecedented natural disaster and minimize the damage,” Vucic said.
He praised one Russian rescuer who was particularly brave when he jumped from a bridge into swift waters to save a flood victim without caring for personal safety.