Image: Ukraine flooding
Mykhailo Markiv  /  AP
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, centre, speaks to inhabitants of flooded village Poberejie, western Ukraine, Sunday, July 27, 2008.
updated 7/27/2008 2:54:17 PM ET 2008-07-27T18:54:17

Severe storms and floods killed 13 people in Ukraine and another five people in neighboring Romania, officials said Sunday.

Five days of heavy rainfall in the Carpathian Mountains caused flooding, mostly in areas near the Prut and Dniestr rivers, damaging more than 21,000 houses, Ukraine's Emergency Ministry said in a statement. At least two people were missing, it said.

Ukraine's government has evacuated more than 8,000 people, officials said, and more than 300 towns and villages have been left without electricity. The government said damages are estimated at more than $300 million.

President Viktor Yushchenko declared the region a national disaster area. He had to leave festivities marking the 1,020th anniversary of the country's adoption of Christianity in the capital, Kiev, and flew to the heaviest-hit Ivano-Frankivsk region.

"Ukraine has not seen anything like this in 100 years," First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchinov said in televised remarks.

The storms will continue for at least another 24 hours, and the water level is expected to rise, the meteorological service said.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who had already been touring the region, called for a parliament session to allocate disaster relief funds.

In northern Romania, five people died in flooding and heavy rain in areas bordering Ukraine, and power outages affected around 20,000 people, officials said.

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