BRATISLAVA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Tourists and local residents were forced to evacuate due to floods after hours of heavy rain in northern Slovakia and in the High Tatra mountains area, local media reported Friday.
According to Slovak Firefighter and Rescue Corps (HaZZ) regional department officer Katarina Krizanova, the most critical situation is found in the village of Stara Lesna, where dozens of people were evacuated from a hotel and many residents were forced to leave their homes.
"Firefighters helped evacuate 274 people from flooded holiday areas and local homes to a local school and municipal office, where people found shelter," Krizanova said.
As an anti-flood precaution measure, about 30 firefighters stayed in the area after the evacuations ended and until the early hours of Friday morning.
The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a first-degree alert in connection with the heavy rainfall in northern Slovakia as well as a first-degree flood alert.
On July 20, 1998, extreme storms and heavy rainfall caused heavy flooding in eastern Slovakia, claiming 50 lives, mainly in the town of Jarovnice.