The death toll from days of heavy rains and flooding in Slovenia has climbed to six, police said Monday, as clean-up operations continued with help from neighbouring countries.
Prime Minister Robert Golob has described the torrential rains and severe flooding that hit the Alpine country of two million as its worst natural disaster since independence three decades ago.
Flash floods and landslides that began Thursday had submerged large swathes of central and northern Slovenia, cutting off access to villages and disrupting traffic.
On Sunday, emergency workers recovered the body of a 35-year-old man in a river near the village of Mirna Perc in the east.
Another man, who was taking part in the clean-up operations, was found dead after falling into a cesspit near the town of Kamnik close to Ljubljana, police said.
The bodies of two Slovenians and two Dutch citizens had been found earlier.
On Monday, rescue workers tried to reopen roads to the most remote or isolated places, while assessing damages which the government has said could exceed half a billion euros.
According to public radio, civil protection authorities were keeping an eye on numerous flood-hit areas where landslides could threaten infrastructure and houses.
Harrowing accounts have emerged of rescue workers and volunteers helping to save locals and tourists from the floods, and sheltering them in community halls and other places.
Slovenia, an EU member, has asked for help from the bloc, seeking in particular heavy machinery such as excavators and prefabricated temporary bridges to deal with the aftermath of the flooding.
Slovenia has also asked NATO to provide transport helicopters and soldiers to help with the recovery efforts.
A first truck with humanitarian help and food arrived from Hungary late Sunday, followed by a helicopter, while Croatia provided a military helicopter to help close and secure a broken levee on the Mura River.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to visit Slovenia on Wednesday.
“I will travel to Slovenia on… 9 August, to witness on the ground the destruction caused by the floods and discuss EU support,” she posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country was sending emergency workers, expressing “dismay” at the “terrible flood catastrophe in Slovenia and Austria”.
In neighbouring Austria, the body of a man was recovered on Sunday from a river in Carinthia state, with heavy rains causing flooding and landslides in the south.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)