ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A man has died during flooding in a northern Adriatic Sea port in Croatia after the town was hit by a storm and torrential rainfall, authorities said on Thursday.
Huge amounts of water drenched Rijeka on Wednesday evening, bursting into houses and submerging the town's squares and streets. Officials said as much rain fell in two hours as normally falls in a month.
“The drainage system was the problem, it could not take all the water,” said firefighter Mladen Sculac.
Emergency crews had to take out a group of children from a playroom in Rijeka as the water started coming in, Sculac said. A local school and dozens of other buildings were damaged in the flooding, he added.
Police found a man's body under a car that was forced to stop in one of the streets where traffic was halted because of the storm, officials said. The exact cause of death is yet to be determined.
“We had hundreds of calls,” said Hinko Mance, another senior emergency official in Rijeka. Though the situation has normalized, the work to clear the damage continues on Thursday, he said.
“As people come to work or to their buildings, they see problems and we expect to have a very intense day,” Mance said.
Experts have linked freak storms, floods and droughts to climate change.