Villages 'saved'

ZAGREB (Reuter) - The threat of villages being flooded by the Peruca dam, sabotaged by retreating Serbs before Croatian forces captured it on Thursday, has been eased after the opening of the main sluice gate, and by teams of workers attempting to shore up the structure with tons of rock.

However, large areas of farmland beside the Cetina River, which has burst its banks, were reported to be submerged as a team of British engineers, responding to a request from the Croatian government, left London yesterday to inspect the dam, seriously damaged by mines detonated in an underground tunnel.

Stepan Ivandic, the dam engineer, said the Croats will probably start working on a new dam as soon as the 8-mile accumulation lake is empty. He said the new dam may be built some 100 metres north of the old one.