One dead, hundreds of homes flooded in Macedonia

SKOPJE Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:57pm EST

1 of 6. A family assesses the damages to their home in the town of Sveti Nikole, 60 km (37 miles) northeast from capital Skopje February 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski

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SKOPJE (Reuters) - One man was drowned and several hundred homes in Macedonia were flooded on Tuesday as two days of heavy rain drenched farmland and caused power outages in the Balkan country, authorities said.

Macedonia's Crisis Management Centre said more than 10 rivers had burst their banks, destroying at least two bridges and flooding homes and thousands of hectares (acres) of farmland in the northeast.

A 51-year-old man from the northeastern village of Cvetisnica drowned after he tried to cross a rising river.

"The villages of Opae and Lopate are badly hit - the height of the water is almost one meter (yard)," the crisis center said in a statement. The government said it was acting to alleviate the crisis.

"From the data on the ground we have already given direction to use state-owned machinery to aid the situation, and we have distributed materials to prevent further flooding," said government spokesman Aleksandar Georgiev.

Rising water levels put pressure on dams, and at least two were described as critical. Nearby residents were evacuated.

The crisis center reported power outages in some areas.

North of Macedonia, in the southern Serbian region of Bujanovac, 40 homes were evacuated due to flooding.

(Reporting by Kole Casule; Editing by Matt Robinson and Michael Roddy)

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