FLOODS force more evacuations in southern Poland as Vistula River breaches dike

Monday, July 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Some 1,300 people in southeastern Poland were evacuated from their villages early Monday as the swollen Vistula River breached a dike, officials said.

Floodwaters burst the dike near Kamien, about 105 miles from the capital Warsaw, at about 5:30 a.m. Inhabitants of the nearby villages of Kepa Gostebcka and Kepa Solecka were evacuated, according to Witold Maziarz, a spokesman for the national firefighting service.

About 500 emergency workers and 180 troops were trying to repair the dike, breached along a 44-yard stretch. Further upstream at Annopol, rescue workers were toiling to strengthen another dike that had started leaking.

Some 25 people have been killed by floods and violent storms in Poland this month, including 12 since the situation worsened last week. Thousands have been forced out of their homes.

On Sunday, 1,800 people were moved by boat, bus and private car from six villages flooded after the Vistula and a tributary broke through saturated dikes further south at Zalesie Gorzyckie and Zlota.

The floods are the worst since the summer of 1997, when storms and rampaging rivers swamped 46,000 homes, killed 55 people and caused an estimated $3.4 billion in damage.