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Floods in Romania Take Nine Lives, Thousands Evacuated

Nine people are known to have lost their lives in flash floods that swept the area around the Danube port of Galati in eastern Romania. Floodwater has affected 21 localities so far and has destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops, also washing away a lengthy portion of railway tracks and causing the derailment of several empty passenger coaches.

The floods have forced thousands to flee their homes in eastern Romania in the last four days. Torrential downpours caused the water level to rise rapidly on Thursday, September 12, 2013. Among those who died was an eight-year-old girl swept away from her father's arms.

Rescuers and locals push through the floodwater in Eastern Romania; photo courtesy of Balkan Inside, used under Creative Commons license.

Rescuers and locals push through the floodwater in Eastern Romania; photo courtesy of Balkan Inside, used under Creative Commons license.

Eugen Chirita, an emergency services spokesman for the Galati region, said: “The toll since Thursday is nine dead, 6,900 evacuated and 1,735 homes flooded.”

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva tweeted:

Another Twitter user, @FauziPewarisPG, wonders if this is a result of climate change:

Jim Bedient, a weather watcher and astronomer, tweeted from Ukraine:

In the meantime, thousands of rescuers, soldiers and police are at work, while Romainian Prime Minister Victor Ponta is said to be gathering more information about the situation on the ground. The video below shows the level of damage and amount of floodwater on the first evening of the floods, as rescuers and locals salvage villagers and livestock.

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