Floods hit Kosovo leaving hundreds without homes

Kosovo's emergency services rescued several hundred people after heavy flooding hit their homes on January 19 and 20. The flooding comes following heavy rain that caused rivers to overflow in the western and northern parts of the country.

Drone footage displays the scale of destruction in these areas.

Local residents described their situation after the water hit their homes.

"Water flooded into the house within 20 minutes. The damage is evident in the kitchen, the yard, garage, and other houses in the area. The entire first floor has been affected and all the appliances have been destroyed," said Gjin Gjinaj, a resident of Klina.

In the municipality of Skenderaj, locals were trying to push water out from their homes and businesses but were driven out by the increasing water levels.

Mr Ramadan Lutfiu lost his car and was evacuated by firefighters.

"It wasn't just me who lost their car, everyone here did. I became stranded and had to ask for help. Firefighters had to rescue me using a bucket on a bulldozer. The damage in our municipality of Skenderaj is immense," said Mr Lutfiu. The Balkan country’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti assured no casualties were reported so far, but the flooding has caused huge material losses.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister said that the flooding crisis comes after decades of negligence in critical infrastructure investments, leading to the destruction of riverbeds caused by gravel exploitation, deforestation, and other issues.

Kosovo’s services have alarmed the population that more flooding is to be expected in the coming days.