KAKANJ, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — More than 150 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in central Bosnia on Friday because a major landslide from huge piles of soil and mine waste from a nearby open pit coal mine threatens to bury their villages.
Some 40 homes in the villages of Ribnica and Mramor in the direct path of the slide were evacuated.
The landslide also blocked a river, creating a lake and raising fears of flooding. Parts of a nearby road were buried by soil, prompting its closure and several electricity poles were uprooted by the slide, disrupting power in the area.
Management of the Kakanj coal mine said the evacuees will receive compensation for their lost homes and will likely have to abandon their villages permanently.
"This was an unfortunate accident, but we cannot blame anyone for it," Ernes Alajbegovic from the village of Ribnica said. "We now have to find a way to overcome it."
His neighbor Ismet Delibasic said the only thing left for the villagers to do was to wait for the complete "disaster" of watching their houses disappear.
"Regardless of the amount, compensation alone cannot erase the trauma," Delibasic said.