Rain-swollen rivers threaten Croatian town

ZAGREB: Rain-swollen rivers flooded hundreds of houses and threatened many more in a western Croatian town on Friday as authorities struggled to contain the surging waters.

City officials in Karlovac held an emergency meeting after the Kupa and Korana rivers rose higher than predicted. Mayor Damir Jelic said parts of the town had been cut off and that people were furious.

"You can't say anything really to these people," he said. "You can't tell them it's all OK, because they have been flooded five or six times already in the last 14 months."

Residents of the flooded areas climbed to the upper floors of their homes as the water advanced. Emergency crews evacuated people from hundreds of flooded homes.

Jelic said some 400 households have been flooded with the damage already exceeding few million euros.

The same area suffered during last year's record flooding in the Balkans that claimed dozens of lives in the region.

On Thursday evening, emergency sirens sounded in Karlovac, summoning firefighters and residents for an all-night effort to protect the town by putting up sand bags and other flood defenses.

Still, the water has spread into homes, flooded river bank cafes and parks, and reached city roads.

A spate of bad weather in Croatia also soaked a town on the Adriatic coast earlier in the week, flooding the city library.