Sofia help for Evros demanded

As floodwaters submerged more than 25,000 hectares in Greece’s northeast, the government told Bulgarian authorities yesterday that they must limit the amount of water rushing into Greece from Bulgaria’s dams to stop the rising of the Evros River. Acting under the instructions of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Greece’s ambassador to Sofia, Prokopios Mantzouranis, lodged an official complaint with the Bulgarian government, asking it to take measures to alleviate the flooding. Water entering northeastern Greece from Bulgaria – along with heavy rainfall and melting snow – is believed to be the main reason for the severe flooding that has hit the Evros region over the last few days. The river’s water level dropped slightly yesterday afternoon but authorities remained on standby, fearing conditions could worsen again. The Evros River hit 6.88 and 6.78 meters at Pythio and Petalos respectively yesterday afternoon. Levels considered dangerous at the two points stand at 5.70 and 6 meters. Rescue teams consisting of army and municipal crews have helped save farmers from the raging waters but livestock and farmland have been ravaged the floods. Television footage of the area showed only rooftops sticking out of the water and animals stranded on treetops. Pavlopoulos asked for tighter cooperation with Bulgaria to improve the situation. «Particularly in this crisis, the information (between the two countries) was not complete and all possibilities were not exhausted by the neighboring country,» he said, referring to Bulgaria. When the Greek ambassador in Sofia asked Bulgaria to stop the flow of water from its dams into Greece to ease pressure on the Evros River, Bulgaria responded by saying it would do so for at least 24 hours. The floods have also created serious problems in Turkey, where some 25,000 hectares of farmland have also been flooded.