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Google Earth Plug-in: Floods in Lom

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LOM, Bulgaria, April 13 (Reuters)

The Danube hit record high levels in the Balkans on Thursday, sending soldiers and disaster workers scrambling to evacuate people and stem flooding along its banks, officials said.

Under a state of emergency, workers filled sandbags through the night to shore up dikes in the port city of Lom, around 230 km (140 miles) north of Sofia, where the river swamped a hotel and city administration buildings.

"We have very strong winds and we are ready to reinforce the dikes to make them even higher," the head of the regional civil defence office told Reuters. "We are trying to manage the situation on our own."

A Reuters photographer at the scene said people were carrying furniture and other belongings from the buildings as the waters, fed by melting snow in central Europe and heavy rains in the Balkans, continued rising.

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