Four drown in Montenegro as bad weather hits Western Balkans

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Four people drowned when a tourist boat capsized in strong winds on the Montenegrin side of Lake Skadar on Sunday, while heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding across neighboring Bosnia, damaging houses and blocking roads.

A couple and their young daughter from the town of Zeta in Montenegro, drowned in the boat accident, along with a man who tried to help them, Montenegrin media reported. Other people on the boat were rescued.

Media said eight people had been on board the boat, including an Orthodox priest who was taking the group to visit an Orthodox monastery on the other side of the lake.

Higher temperatures after sub-zero temperatures last month and heavy rains have melted snow in most of the Western Balkans. About half a dozen rivers in Bosnia burst their banks on Sunday, causing flooding of hundreds of houses, damaging bridges and blocking roads.

Two towns in central Bosnia, Zenica and Kakanj, declared emergencies as streets in some neighborhoods turned into rivers and rescue services began evacuating people from houses in rubber boats. Schools in the most affected areas of central Bosnia announced they will be closed on Monday.

More rainfall and snow are expected in the next few days, raising the water levels of major rivers to above normal, meteorologists said.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Susan Fenton

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