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7 dead in floods in northern Bulgaria

Breaking Earth News
Photo: A flooded house is pictured in the town of Tsar Kaloyan, some 380 km (235 miles) north-east of the capital Sofia August 7, 2007. Six elderly people died in accidents in the small Bulgarian town of Tsar Kaloyan after torrential rain cut off electricity and raised water levels, the local civil defence service said.

SOFIA, Bulgaria:
Torrential rain following weeks of drought caused severe flooding in northern Bulgaria, sweeping away cars, reducing scores of homes to rubble and killing at least seven people, the country's civil defense authority said Tuesday.

Worst-hit was Tzar Kaloyan, a town 260 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Sofia, where a small dam overflowed during the night, sending a meter-high (three-foot) wave crashing through the streets, the Department of Civil Defense said. About 200 homes were severely damaged, with 100 destroyed.

Television footage showed cars and the carcasses of drowned animals floating along flooded streets, past the rubble of destroyed houses. Soldiers used military vehicles to help rescue crews transport residents to temporary shelters.

Last week, the same area had declared a state of emergency due to a drought during two successive heat waves that had left the surrounding agricultural land parched.

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