Bulgaria on Monday warned residents of the Turkish city of Edirne that it would open the floodgates on the Meriç rivers to relieve flooding in Bulgarian towns near the border.
Recent heavy rainfall has led the Bulgarian government to release water from a dam on its side of the border. The government announced it would open the floodgates at 8 p.m. Monday.
Up to two times more water than what has already fallen is expected to flow into Edirne when the floodgates are opened. The Meriç and Arda rivers are both flooding while the Tunca river is at risk for flooding.
Edirne Gov. Hamdi Sedefçi told broadcaster CNNTürk that the city had taken precautions and that the people of Edirne were not at risk. "We are checking the sets to make sure that residences are not affected by the flooding," he said.
Evacuations in Greece
Authorities have begun evacuating flooded villages in the prefecture of Evros, in northeastern Greece, as the levels of the Evros river keep swelling past danger levels, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The Evros River is called the Meriç in Turkish.
"We are going to evacuate some villages because the waters keep rising. ... The Bulgarians are releasing more water [from dams] upstream in order to relieve their own situation," Evros deputy prefect Michalis Kouyioumtzis says.
More than 15,000 hectares of farmland have been flooded as melting snow and torrential rains in Bulgaria, to Greece's north, have swollen the rivers there and caused widespread damage.
The Evros river originates in Bulgaria, where it is known as the Maritsa, and its lower course forms the border between Greece and Turkey.