8 die, hundreds evacuated in Romania flooding

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Eight people have died and hundreds have been evacuated in remote eastern Romania as torrential rains caused flash flooding, officials reported Thursday.

Authorities said some 700 houses were flooded after 12 villages were hit by a six-hour downfall that began Wednesday evening and equaled the region’s average rainfall for two months.

Six people drowned, one is missing and two others had fatal heart attacks amid the deluge, local official Nicolae Bacalbasa said Thursday. Authorities were still searching flooded homes for more possible victims.

Forty-five people were rescued from the floodwaters and 330 people were evacuated from their homes, the interior ministry said. Roads in the area were impassable Thursday and Bacalbasa said bottled water and diesel fuel were in short supply.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta sent a deputy prime minister to view the area and called an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the situation.

Rain is forecast for the coming days.

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