* Worst rains and floods for at least 120 years
* More than 100,000 without electricity in Serbia
* Thousands evacuated from homes
By Fedja Grulovic
OBRENOVAC, Serbia, May 16 Boats sailed through
the streets of a Serbian town on Friday on a mission to rescue
people trapped by rising waters as the worst floods ever
recorded swept Serbia and Bosnia.
Some residents of Obrenovac, 30 km (20 miles) southwest of
the capital Belgrade, were stranded on the roofs of their homes,
calling for help.
At least four people have died in the disaster. Thousands
have been evacuated from homes in central and western areas of
Serbia. Around 135,000 households were without power across the
country and the government approved emergency electricity
imports. Another 65,000 were without electricity in neighbouring
"This is a catastrophe. Nature has never been so cruel to
us," Serbian Energy Minister Aleksandar Antic said.
The heaviest rains since records began almost 120 years ago
have hit Serbia and Bosnia this week. Three people, including a
rescue worker, drowned in Serbia and a villager died in a
landslide near the northern Bosnian town of Bjeljina.
The deluge has made many hillsides unstable in the
mountainous region. Several people were injured when dozen of
houses were destroyed by a landslide on the edge of the Bosnian
Bosnia's Centre for the Removal of Landmines warned that
mines laid during the country's 1992-95 war could be moved by
floods and landslides.
FLEEING ON FOOT
In the village of Topcic Polje, near the central Bosnian
town of Zenica, a landslide devoured dozens of houses and water
flooded the main road.
Villagers fled on foot along railway tracks with bags and
babies in their arms.
"The people are walking to Zenica, all the roads are jammed,
we are stuck here and there is no help from anyone," villager
Asim Skopljak told Reuters by telephone from Topcic Polje.
"There is no electricity and no drinking water."
Surges of high water were expected to reach the major rivers
Sava and Danube later in the day and over the weekend,
threatening thousands more people and roads, meteorologists in
Bosnia's central government appealed on Friday for
international help. Russian emergency teams with rescue boats
arrived in Serbia on Friday and were heading for Obrenovac to
help with the operation there.
Israel, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria have also
approved the sending of aid including helicopters and boats.
International peacekeepers' helicopters were also ready to help
rescue operations in Bosnia.
(Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac, Daria Sito-Sucic,
Maja Zuvela and Dado Ruvic; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and