Flooding wreaks havoc

At least 16 people have died in severe storms and flooding which have hit Romania in the past week, the Interior Ministry has said.

The latest victim was an 11-year-old boy, who was swept away by flood waters as he was playing with friends. Another two people are still reported missing. More than 1,400 people have been forced to leave their homes across the country amid widespread damage to property.

This year, Romania has suffered some of its worst floods in decades. In July, flooding killed dozens of people and left thousands of homes and acres of farmland and other cultivated areas submerged.

The 11-year-old boy died in Sibiu county, central Romania, last Sunday while a one-year-old child drowned in a swollen river in Suceava county, to the north of the country.

Earlier, a nine-year-old girl died in the northern county of Botosani, two shepherds were struck by lightening in Muri county, also in the north, and an elderly man was killed by a falling electricity pylon in southern Romania.

About 20,000 households in more than 500 towns have been affected by the storms, with some 200 properties completely destroyed, thousands damaged and whole communities left without electricity.