Bosnia, Serbia Floods: 44 Dead, Landslides Force Thousands to Flee Homes, Power Plants at Risk (PHOTOS)

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  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  People stand on a terrace of their flooded house as they wait before being evacuated in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bos
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE People stand on a terrace of their flooded house as they wait before being evacuated in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing hundreds out of their homes and cutting off entire towns. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  A man throws a life buoy towards people waiting to be evacuated from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bos
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE A man throws a life buoy towards people waiting to be evacuated from a flooded house in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing hundreds out of their homes and cutting off entire towns. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  A dog stands in a flooded street in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing hundre
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE A dog stands in a flooded street in the town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 16, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing hundreds out of their homes and cutting off entire towns. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • An aerial view of the flooded suburb of Sarajevo is seen in this handout photograph released by the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 15, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing
    An aerial view of the flooded suburb of Sarajevo is seen in this handout photograph released by the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina on May 15, 2014. The heaviest rains and floods in 120 years have hit Bosnia and Serbia, killing five people, forcing hundreds out of their homes and cutting off entire towns. REUTERS/Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina/Handout via Reuters
  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bos
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE People stand in their apartments as they wait to be evacuated in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosnia on Saturday and soldiers rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  A Serbian army soldier throws candy bars to people as they are evacuated a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from fl
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE A Serbian army soldier throws candy bars to people as they are evacuated a boat in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosnia on Saturday and soldiers rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE  Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in amphibious vehicle in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosni
    REFILE - CORRECTING DIRECTION OF TOWN FROM BELGRADE Serbian army soldiers evacuate people in amphibious vehicle in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 17, 2014. Emergency services pulled seven dead bodies from flooded homes in Bosnia on Saturday and soldiers rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • Ambulances are seen half submerged in floodwaters in front of a school in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 17, 2014. Seven bodies were pulled from flooded homes in Bosnia and the army rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a
    Ambulances are seen half submerged in floodwaters in front of a school in the flooded town of Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade May 17, 2014. Seven bodies were pulled from flooded homes in Bosnia and the army rushed to free hundreds of people stranded in a school in Serbia on Saturday during the worst floods to hit the Balkans in over a century. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
  • An aerial view of flooded crops are pictured in Ilidza near Sarajevo, May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in
    An aerial view of flooded crops are pictured in Ilidza near Sarajevo, May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in the worst floods in over a century. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in the worst floods in over
    An aerial view of the flooded city of Orasje May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes and rescue teams from around Europe on Sunday joined huge volunteer aid efforts in swathes of Serbia and Bosnia where at least 24 people have died in the worst floods in over a century. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • Sandbags are piled up along the side of a road near Orasje, May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes carrying boats, generators and food joined rescue teams from around Europe and thousands of local volunteers in evacuating people and building flood defences af
    Sandbags are piled up along the side of a road near Orasje, May 18, 2014. Russian cargo planes carrying boats, generators and food joined rescue teams from around Europe and thousands of local volunteers in evacuating people and building flood defences after the River Sava, swollen by days of torrential rain, burst its banks. In Bosnia, 19 people were confirmed dead. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
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At least 44 have died from the worst floods that hit Serbia and Bosnia in more than a century over the weekend. Four days of heavy rainfall had triggered landslides forcing thousands to flee their homes as mud covered villages and roads. Rising flood waters are likewise threatening the power plants in the region.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise in the coming days once the flood waters have receded.

"The situation is catastrophic," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said.

Devastation was widespread anywhere one looks.

"It looks like a tsunami and earthquake occurred at once. Water carries everything. Corpses of animals could be seen floating everywhere," Nedeljko Brankovic, one of rescue workers who managed to reach the village of Krupanj in western Serbia after two days, told AFP.

"We found some 50 people gathered in the highest house. They had neither electricity nor drinking water. Telephones did not work. We evacuated them 10 by 10 in a huge boat," Mr Brankovic added.

In Belgrade, capital of Serbia, shelters were erected from the dozens of schools and sport centers for the thousands of displaced evacuees from the disaster zones.

"The water was two metres high in less than an hour," 73-year-old Vojislav Majstorovic, who lives in Obrenovac, said. "We did not have time even to pack basic things. We just ran to the first floor and waved a white sheet to alert rescuers."

The amount of rainfall that struck Serbia and Bosnia in the past three days was good for three months' worth. The flooding and resulting landslides had removed warning signs near landmines which still have weapons that were remnants of the Bosnian War of 1992-95.

Authorities in Serbia are currently racing against time to erect and raise sandbag barriers to protect the perimeter of the Kostolac power plant located east of Belgrade. The plant supplies 20 per cent of the country's electricity needs.

"More and more water is getting closer but for the timebeing the sandbag defence barriers are holding," Dragan Jovanovic, Kostolac general manager, was quoted by Tanjug news agency.

Rains and flood waters have receded on Sunday in Serbia and Bosnia, but authorities said they expect Sava River to rise further.

Serbia's largest power plant, the Nikola Tesla in Obrenovac, is likewise threatened.

Flooding had disrupted Serbian power generation by 40 per cent, forcing the cash-strapped country to boost imports, according to Reuters.

An estimated 95,000 homes are without power.

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