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Romania Floods, Landslides Kill 9

July 12, 1999

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Landslides produced by heavy floods killed at least nine people today in western Romania and flooding damaged hundreds of houses, according to media reports.

The landslides occurred after a dam on Riul Mare (The Big River), 170 miles northwest of Bucharest, collapsed under the pressure of the water and covered an area of workers’ temporary homes, officials said.

``It is believed there are several injured and more victims but right now it’s impossible to reach the area,″ Constantin Alexandrescu, deputy prefect of Hunedoara County, said by telephone.

Radio ProFM said a helicopter was flying over the area but could not land due to flooding and mud. Phone and electric lines in the area were cut.

Flooding damaged thousands of houses in western and central Romania over the weekend. Ten people were killed in flooding and other weather-related incidents, including six drownings and two struck by lightning. In neighboring Hungary, two men drowned when they were swept away by a flood-swollen river.

Dozens of villages remained isolated in southwestern Romania as small bridges were taken down by rising waters.

Spring water was left undrinkable in some villages and authorities were distributing food and mineral water.

Two national roads were made unpassable when the waters ripped away cobblestones.

Meteorologists said the rain would continue in western Romania and the waters might flood the Roman-era Herculane Spa near the Yugoslav border.

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