Source AP ©

Torrential rains in Slovenia cause awful damages and bring victims

Slovenian government will be forced to seek European Union aid  to cope with floods.

Janez Jansa, who toured the northern region ravaged by the storm Tuesday, said the damage - estimated at 200 EUR million (US$276 million) - "exceeds budget reserves" and other financial aid earmarked for relief.

He said the government would seek aid from EU's Solidarity Fund for the first time, the state-run news agency STA reported.

Slovenia is a prosperous market economy, whose 4-percent economic growth exceeds the EU average - making it a contributor rather than recipient of EU funds.

The government will also aid regional companies in amounts allowed by the EU rules, Jansa said.

Earlier in the day, authorities said they have recovered two more bodies, raising the death toll from the Tuesday's floods to six.

The two new victims were from Zelezniki, a village of 3,000 people in a narrow valley in northwestern Slovenia, and the hardest hit town in the storm. One body was found in a local factory late Wednesday; another near her house, said local police spokesman, Zdenko Guzzi.

Authorities had previously identified four victims of the floods in two other towns.

The floods damaged hundreds of houses, swept away bridges and cars and buried a World War II clinic that was later turned into a national monument.

Two villages remain cut off from outside help, as a bridge and a road leading to them have been washed away. Authorities have organized helicopters to drop food and other necessities to the residents.

Slovenia's largest insurer, Triglav, said it expected about 5,000 claims and a record payout for damages, totaling around 20 million EUR(US$28 million).

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