TIRANA, Albania -- Authorities are looking for help from abroad to manage the emergency situation caused by massive flooding in the north. Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto met on Sunday (December 5th) with the ambassadors of EU and NATO countries in Tirana. "We have requested [they] help us with small boats to transport food and medical supplies, as well as with tents to accommodate evacuated citizens," Haxhinasto said afterwards. Greece, Italy and Austria were the first EU countries to respond to the call. Turkey sent two helicopters with military and medical personnel.
Police reported on Sunday that more than 12,000 people have been evacuated from the northern town of Shkodra, where 14,000 hectares of land have been underwater for days. The Buna and Drin rivers swamped the region amid ten days of uninterrupted rain. Some neighbourhoods in the city of Shkodra can only be reached by boats, while in some villages, the water is 3m deep. Other areas affected by the floods include the port city of Durres and the southern cities of Fieri and Vlora. (RFE, BBC, VoA, Shekulli, Alsat, Klan, Top Channel - 05/12/10)