Romania evacuates 500 after furious floodwaters submerge area; PM heads to region

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Authorities evacuated 500 people from an area in southwest Romania after surging floodwaters submerged villages during one of the country's wettest summers in recent years.

The government sent three helicopters Tuesday to the stricken area in the foothills of the Parang mountains. Prime Minister Victor Ponta, accompanied by aides, arrived in the area in the afternoon.

Ion Mantra, deputy mayor of the town of Novaci, said 500 people had been evacuated from three villages and some 75 houses were cut off by floods after the River Gilort burst its banks. A local government official said waters reached 3 meters (10 feet).

Dozens of emergency workers were deployed to the area, and forecasters issued the red code weather warning for two counties Tuesday.