Dutch relief experts for Balkan flooding

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The Netherlands has sent two experts to the Balkans to assist the relief efforts that have been initiated in the wake of the worst flooding there in over a century.

Development Cooperation Minister Lilianne Ploumen announced that her department has deployed a relief coordinator and a hydrologist. The flooding in Serbia and Bosnia has killed dozens and sent thousands of others scrambling to higher grounds for safety.

It has been called the worst flooding the region has seen in 120 years. At least 13 people are dead in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in Serbia twelve bodies have been recovered in Obrenovac, about 35 kilometers (22.7 miles) from the capital of Belgrade. Officials from both countries cautioned that the toll is likely to go even higher.

The Dutch relief workers have been placed in different teams; the relief coordinator works in an EU team in Bosnia that can be deployed in case of calamities and the hydrologist leads a UN team that decides what should be done to stabilize the water levels and what material should be used to achieve that.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is maintaining contact with the Red Cross in case more help is needed. The Dutch embassies in Bosnia and Serbia are also keeping The Hague updated on the situation and requests for help.

Russia and Israel have also announced Sunday they would send relief supplies.


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