Bosnian floods: Floods lead to landmine fears as water covers a third of the country

Fears that the 120,000 unexploded landmines still in the country could be displaced as a result of the floods

The devastating floods that have seen a third of Bosnia under water, and two dozen people killed, have sparked fresh concerns that the flowing water could have unearthed a number of the 120,000 unexploded landmines that still exist in the country.

It is feared that the floods, which have also wreaked havoc in Croatia and Serbia, are washing away river banks and causing landslides which are in turn unearthing a number of the land mines - the legacy of the Bosnian War of the early nineties.

According to Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre, there have been reports of a number of displaced landmines being found.

After the war that ended in 1995, there was a reported 1 million unexploded landmines still scattered across Bosnia’s interior.

Despite government efforts to rid the country of the mines they are still a major problem for the country and have killed over 1,800 people in the last ten years. It is believed that as many as 120,000 unexploded landmines could still exist in Bosnia.

An official at Bosnia's Mine Action Center, Sasa Obradovic, said hunting-scouts would be deployed on Monday to begin to weed out the displaced mines.

He said: "Mines have surfaced now in areas where they have never been, we will work with Croatia and Serbia on the problem."

The floods were caused when three months of rainfall fell on Bosnia in the space of a few days.

The latest official number for those to have died currently stands at 44, however this is expected to grow as authorities will only look for bodies when the water subsides.

The banks of the river Sava, which runs through Bosnia and Croatia, burst during the week leading to nearly one third of the country being covered by water and thousands being left homeless.

The floods described by Bosnia’s refugee minister as “catastrophic” has mainly affected the north-eastern part of the country an area where nearly a quarter of the population live.

There were worries that with more rainfall expected there could be another surge in flooding; however, it is now not expected to be as bad as first thought.

Experts believe water levels will rise for two more days and then begin to recede.

Bosnia’s neighbouring countries, Serbia and Croatia, have also been badly hit by the floods in the region.

In Serbia more than 200,000 people have had to leave their homes and some of the country’s railways and telecommunication posts have been badly affected.

It is feared that the water still threatens the Nicholas Tesla power plant, Serbia’s biggest power plant situated south-west of Belgrade

With the plant supplying electricity to the whole of the country, Serbian authorities have been working to ensure the plant is not flooded.

In Croatia two people have gone missing and hundreds have had to flee their homes.

On Saturday,  Serbian president said "What happened to us happens not once in 100 years, but once in 1,000 years," Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic

He did remain hopeful that they had seen the worst of the floods, saying: "I believe it should be over by Wednesday."

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn