Man killed and over 100,000 without power in Balkan blizzards

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - A man was killed in Bosnia and more than 100,000 homes across the Balkans were without electricity on Friday after blizzards brought down power lines and triggered landslides.

The Bosnian died when a tree, dislodged by a landslide, fell on his car near the central town of Zepce.

Dozens of motorists in southwest Bosnia were stranded by the snowstorm, which began on Thursday.

Authorities said more than 50,000 households were without power in Bosnia and over 30,000 in Serbia. Many in Bosnia were also without running water because electricity was cut to pumping stations.

"Teams are out in the field; they are facing heavy and wet snow and have to constantly remove broken trees that damaged power lines," Milovan Glisic, a Serbian electricity official, told Reuters. "We are carrying out repairs constantly but the pace depends on the weather; we hope to fix everything today," said Tamara Utvic, spokeswoman for Serbia's electricity supplier, EPS.

In western Slovenia, about 1,200 households were without power. Gale-force winds and driving rain along Croatia's Adriatic coast uprooted trees, disrupting traffic and electricity supplies to some 24,000 homes.

In Montenegro, snow and strong winds prompted authorities on Friday to issue a blizzard warning for mountainous regions. A number of roads were closed for traffic.

Overnight, rescuers evacuated more than 40 people stranded in deep snow in mountains near the Montenegrin towns of Niksic and Savnik, said Zlatko Micanovic, an official with Montenegro's Department for Emergency Situations.

"Although we expect the weather to stabilise, more rescue actions are possible," he said.

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