skopje state capital floods macedonia
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Macedonia has declared a state of emergency in parts of the capital hit by torrential rain and floods that left at least 21 people dead.
Police and army helicopters searched for the missing and evacuated hundreds from the flood zone around Skopje.
Mayor Koce Trajanovski described the damage as “the worst Skopje has ever seen”.
He said that the deluge created hazardous rainfall accumulations within only 20 minutes. Witnesses described victims being drowned after they were trapped in their houses when torrents suddenly swept through the area.
The heavy rain, strong winds and thunderstorms struck Skopje and its northern suburbs late on Saturday.
Government spokesman Aleksandar Gjorgiev said a state of emergency had been declared for two weeks in the most affected areas.
Hundreds of homes and vehicles were destroyed by the floods, roads were impassable and several areas were without electricity. More than 1,000 people had been evacuated so far. – AP