Albania faces 'catastrophe' after floods, prime minister warns
Jan 6, 2010, 14:55 GMT
Tirana - Albania is facing a potential catastrophe after days of heavy rain which have left hundreds of houses flooded in the northwestern areas, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said Wednesday.
'We are in a real emergency situation and a potential catastrophe,' Berisha told reporters in Tirana after an emergency government meeting to discuss urgent evacuation of flooded areas.
'The rain is falling for 10 days. It is our duty to prevent catastrophe, so these areas have to be evacuated,' he said adding that the army is completing evacuation plans.
Earlier media reports indicated that a number of villagers from Shkodra area refused to leave their homes fearing they would loose their possessions, and authorities threatening they will be evacuated by force.
'The loss of even one life would be a heavy burden for the country. It is more courageous to find a way to overcome this situations with wisdom,' Berisa said calling the inhabitants of flooded villages to evacuate.
According to the latest reports over 3800 hectares of land are under water and 350 houses are flooded.