Eight Die as Torrential Rains Flood Southeastern Bulgaria

Eight Die as Torrential Rains Flood Southeastern Bulgaria

Eight people drowned as torrential rains flooded southeastern Bulgaria, bursting a dam wall, the interior ministry said.

Four people drowned in the village of Biser which was submerged under three metres of water after the wall of a nearby dam broke.  Two more died near the village of Ivanyane and another two lost their lives near the village of Borislavtsi as their cars were swept away by the water, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Seventy-five people were evacuated in the subsequent rescue operation.

A state of emergency was declared in several municipalities in the area, as well as the towns of Kardjali and Svilengrad, as a dozen dams along the Arda and the Maritsa rivers, including the Ivailovgrad dam, started to overflow.

The foreign ministry said it has issued a warning to Greece and Turkey of high flood waters coming down the two rivers.

The Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, on the border with Turkey, was closed, the interior ministry also said.

Landslides derailed a train locomotive near Svilengrad without causing injuries.

According to the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, temperatures in the coming days may drop to minus 15 - minus 20 degrees Celsius.

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