Nikola Mihov

  • My brother and his wife live here. Her grandma died - the water took her away. When the rain started she was playing with her kid on the sofa. She heard a loud noise and went to close the door. When she saw what was happening she wanted to run away but there was nobody to help her. Why did these people let this water upon us? Do they want to kill us? Look at the carpets, the furniture, everything! Who’s going to pay for this? They said they’ll give us 150 Euros compensation. With that kind of money we can’t even pay for the paint.



  • I had just moved in and didn’t even have time to celebrate. This was the kids’ room. I had wallpapers, a corner sofa, bookshelves, everything in its right place. The satellite dish parked itself right here: it was outside on the wall. I will really miss this house. We have nowhere to live now. We are with my aunt now because the state offered us nothing. If we didn’t have relatives we would be on the streets right now. But people are helping a lot: the Roma here, the Bulgarians, even some foreigners are coming to dig up the mud, they all work hard… .

  • This is my uncle’s apartment. They just finished it and went abroad. They’ve only been here a week. They spent 2000 Euros - just on the kitchen. I told them what happened and now we are waiting for them to come back. Their kids were here, two big boys: the wave swept them all the way down. They are both now in the hospital.



  • This was the guest room. My mother and my sister live here. When they came back they said it looked like a warzone. The water was 10 metres high when it came. I was in the car and when I saw it I managed to get away but the car was dragged away. I’ve never seen rain like this. My grandma said the same. I am sure it’s not the rain: this was intentional… it was intentional. God will punish them. He sees who’s behind this and he’ll hit them right on the head. Innocent people died and the whole world knows it.

  • It started raining heavily and the drain got clogged. My daughter went out to unclog it but suddenly this giant wave came. I rushed outside to help her but the water pushed me to the other side. The water went up to six metres in no time. My husband grabbed the fence but the water took him . I was shouting my man is gone, my man is gone… He hit his head on this rock and got swept away. He remained conscious but the wave took him all the way down to the sea. I thought I lost him forever but inside I felt he was alive, he’ll be back. He managed to grab a metal fence and held onto it until some people managed to pull him out. He’s now in a wheelchair and covered in wounds but he’s alive.

  • We were at home with my husband making supper. It was like we were dreaming. I was looking outside and thinking what’s wrong with these people to throw out rubbish like this? It turned out the rubbish bins were tipped over. Then I saw our car move on its own, then the neighbours’ and then our son’s minibus. One of the cars was gone, nobody could find it. They just found the licence plates in the mud. When water started coming in from every corner I thought this is the end!  This isn’t God’s work, this is someone’s mistake.

  • I live in Poland but when I saw the news I got on the first flight I could take. My mother lives in this house. When it started raining she went to my sister’s house further up the road. They went on the roof, I saw them on Skype: the neighbours went online with their smartphones I could see everything live. The wave was four metres high, there’s no way this is just the rain. Up the slope they say the water collected somewhere they haven’t cleaned in 20 years and it overflowed. Now they are saying the buildings were illegal: they are just coming up with excuses. 

  • It first started raining and then suddenly the water reached the windows. I managed to get the kids onto the garage. Water flooded in and I started swimming but my mother’s a little chubby so she couldn’t swim. I found this beam and I pushed her up too. The neighbours stayed in with water up their necks because we didn’t have time to help them. This is not from the rain, this just can’t be from the rain – it’s from the military. Somewhere up the mountain there’s this military reservoir, that’s where it’s from. 

  • My sister lives abroad, this is her room. My nephew and I were in the other room. I just walked out to close the gate and I saw the wave coming. I shouted to get them outside but it wasn’t quick enough: one of the walls collapsed. The water was up to my chest, as if you’re in the middle of the sea. We made it to the terrace but the water reached us in seconds. I was swimming with my nephew in one arm, my brother-in-law helped us to climb even further and save ourselves. The house is not worth anything anymore, just look at how high the water was. Now we’re with relatives and we don’t know what’s going to happen next.

  • I was abroad. I came back to renovate the house, had plans to marry, wanted us to have a nice room and live like normal people. Most of all I am sad about the plaster on the walls. Do you know how much I paid for it? I was even going to bring in my luggage. Where do I bring it now? There’s no point living here anymore. We’re going to clean up, leave it and go back abroad.



  • It was nightfall, we were repairing the roof with my son when it started raining. We sat down for supper with the grandsons. We had some rakia and then woosh! This giant wave came in through the window. When it hit we just went crazy, totally crazy. The water was flowing in from both sides and we were trying hard to open the door but we couldn’t. I broke the window and jumped outside but the kids are still in and the water’s reaching the ceiling. My son’s in and he’s taking the kids out one by one and I take them to the second floor. If I didn’t grab the steps I would have been swept away. When it died down a bit we made a bridge across the street with a ladder and we made it to the other roof. The cars were passing by like motor boats. One car even tipped the roof of the neighbours’ house. It was horrible, so horrible I don’t even want to talk about it.

  • When the rain started my wife and I were at home. There was no way to leave: take a step out and you’re gone with the flood. The water came in from everywhere: doors and windows, everything was washed away. We were still in with my wife, standing on the sofa but the water was almost neck high. After an hour it started draining away so we got the buckets and for six hours straight we were draining the house out. Furniture, TV, the oven, the fridge, everything’s gone. I am just happy I am alive and I am still shaking.

The Sea Inside

The Sea Inside, 2014

On June 2014, the Black Sea town of Varna, Bulgaria, was hit by heavy rains. The suburb of Asparuhovo  was swamped by a three-metre high wave destroying everything in its path and killing 13 people. According to the authorities, the disaster was due to an illegal waste site and unmaintained drains which allowed a large amount of water to collect and subsequently sweep away the illegally built houses. However, the residents believe that the huge wave was not caused by the torrential rain but by a breakage of the nearby military base’s reservoir. Rumours of divine retribution, UFO interference and even a HAARP (American military program) attack also spread.

Right after the flood Nikola Mihov spent three days in Asparuhovo documenting the interiors of some of the worst hit houses in the Roma neighbourhood, as well as the stories of their inhabitants.