Bulgaria has warned its southern neighbours Greece and Turkey they could face severe flooding as torrential rains are expected to swell the Arda and Maritsa rivers.
The alert comes as Greek authorities struggle to deal with the country’s biggest wildfire in more than a decade, after a devastating blaze swept through the Greek village of Mati on Monday.
The Ivaylovgrad dam on the river Arda, located in the eastern Rhodope Mountains, is expected to overflow in the next few days due to heavy downpours, Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said late on July 24.
The Arda river spans 290 km eastwards between Bulgaria and Greece, joining the Maritsa river on Greece’s border with Turkey.
Bulgarian authorities have declared a state of emergency, following days of heavy rainfall.
The authorities have also warned that continued rainfall threatens to overflow the Maritsa river, situated near the Bulgarian town of Svilengrad, flooding the town and endangering locals.
Torrential showers and thunderstorms have hit Bulgaria over the past week, with meteorologists forecasting more rainfall on the way over the next few days.